Dad, what’s a library?


The Internet 

Remember when you would have a discussion with someone and a question would come up that neither of you knew the answer to?  You would banter back and forth about who played so and so in a movie or what team Dale Murphy retired with, and odds are one of you would say that you needed to look it up but if it wasn’t too important you would just go on about your normal life and forget about it.  Taking the time to look for a book at the library or flip through the pages of an encyclopedia wasn’t always easy and that was just the way things were, and we were happy.  Speaking of encyclopedias, remember those?  One day I will show my daughters encyclopedias and explain to them that these were Google before Google was born.  This was were you found answers to questions and if what you were looking for didn’t fit in one of those books you would have to get into your car and drive to a library.  Libraries were whole buildings full of books that you could go to and learn stuff (at this point I will contemplate breaking down catalog cards and the DeweyDecimal system but realize that I have already blown their minds enough).

It is pretty amazing to see how much things can change in a relatively short amount of time.  There is no longer any tolerance for not knowing something because the internet lives in your pocket or in the computer in your house somewhere.  There is no more wondering what movie or show you recognize that actress from or having to find a newspaper to see when a movie is playing (funny, one day I will probably have to explain what a newspaper was too).  The internet is super sweet.  They may have been amazing to us as kids but my parent’s stories about when Coke only cost a nickel kind of pale in comparison to the stories we will tell our children about giant phones attached to buildings that you would have to put money in to use.   Sure there is a lot about the internet that isn’t perfect but something that puts the 1989 Heisman trophy winner, a recipe for buffalo chicken dip, and adorable cat videos right at your fingertips is pretty sweet.  Even sweet enough to tolerate the new Facebook.  if you have small kids, what do you think will blow them away the most when you tell them about how their parents grew up in the olden days?


Grandparent Names 

I promise I am not trying to make fun of  baby boomers any particular generation, but do you remember when we called our grandparents grandma or grandpa or some close variation of those terms?  As a parent of young children with lots of friends in the same boat I have made an observation that there are fewer and fewer grandmas and more and more Nanas and Mimis and Yayas etc.  I don’t want to come off critical but it is kind of a funny observation.  Our parent’s generation is incredibly youthful and all of the new grandparent terms fit them well.  I wonder though, is this just something I see in my circle of friends or are we going to have to change the words to that “over the river and through the woods” song.  If you have kids, what do they call their grandparents?  This may not really be something that is weak but I have already kind of trapped myself into this format so there you go.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

29 responses to “Dad, what’s a library?

  • sheila

    Probably, one thing that my son wouldn’t understand is how I grew up without nintendo, Wii, playstation or leapfrog. If he asks me how I played as a child, I’d say “I use my imagination and whatever I can find inside or outside the house.” And maybe he’ll ask with wide eyes, “What???”

    Here’s a confusing one: Uncle Grandpa. We teach our son to call my MIL’s brother “grandpa” to show respect. But then my MIL’s brother doesn’t want to feel old so he wanted to add the “uncle”. Poor kid! He would have a hard time figuring out the family tree.

  • life is a bowl of kibble

    I am a MoMo. I would have gone for Grams or grandma, however; I would have preferred Meme. OK yes, I am that stupid generation which wanted to be young forever and still have GK’s without others knowing I am old enough to have them. I hated MoMo! But my first grandchild gave it to me after her goldfish, “MO”, died. I now have 6 gk’s all call me MoMo and I love it. Grandchild 1 asked me, now a 16 yr old teenager with me as a friend on FB, “Why do I have a MoMo and not a regular Grandmother?” (she was contently being asked on FB who is the MoMo person?) I said, “Honey, you named me.” And with that she walked away with a look of bewilderment and DEFEAT on her little face. Aahh the joys of grandparenthood

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Military Pants

    My son once told someone that he didn’t have a grandma when asked. But I soon realized that he didn’t know what that was….he has a nana, yaya, grandpap and papa……and can’t forget the great abuelita.

    We go to the library every week because they have storytimes for my children’s ages. So that has kept me there which is great. But my son did ask for a Kindle like mine:)

  • imperskimpers

    Yep, I agree about the library becoming insignificant for future generations. And that is why my 2 1/2 year old and I go to the library at least once a month! I think it is important that kids see their parents reading and that it is important to them.

    I remember thinking my grandparents were SO old. I don’t feel that way about my parents as grandparents. Maybe it is just perspective. Oh and the grandparents go by Mimi, Poppy, Grammi and Pop.

  • The Lost Generation « seekingsynergy

    […] This nonsensical post was triggered by an amazing blog entry I read at the sweet and weak […]

  • nmaha

    Sweet: You know how kids do the ‘why’ thing and just won’t stop. So I figured out a way to stop it, I just say “I don’t know” (I don’ want to stilt her inquisitive sponge-like mind, but I am human). Well, now my three year old replies with “Mommy, just google it”.

    Weak: My mom is numnum, but my MIL is just plain old granny. Granted my mom does look 20 years younger than my MIL.

  • l0ve0utl0ud

    I really hope that the day doesn’t come when we will have to reminisce about libraries! They were my favourite childhood hangout place 🙂

  • imaginecreation

    My kids call my parents Granny and Papa. Though my nephews all seem to call them something different.

    We were just talking the other day about remembering when AOL was quickly making the internet a popular thing. I’m sure there were other companies with their hand in the mix . . . but AOL was the one I remember the most, with their sappy commercials. I was a young teen at that time.

    Great post!

  • Tara

    After my kids returned from a weekend at my sister’s house, they had so much to tell us! The highlight was the “Jack-in-the-box” windows their car had. (Roll up) They thought they were sooo cool. We thought this was hilarious.

    FYI: My parents go by Mimi and Poppi.

  • sharlacr

    Oh it’s not just you! Mine were Granny and Grandad. My kids’ are Nannie and PaPa. My mother vowed to me when my daughter was born that if I ever allowed her to be called “Granny” or “Grandma” that she would unleash the most horrifying punishment unlike anything I have ever seen, even worse than when I stayed out all night the first time. We quickly came up with an acceptable alternative! Great post!

  • Deafia

    Oh boy… Technology has taken over our lives…

    50 years from now:
    Parent: “Would you like read some books?”
    Child: “What’s book?”

  • Rosemary

    My seven year old had to use the old phone in his classroom the other day. He came home and tried to explain how ridiculous it was: he had to hold it with both hands and the ear piece was so far away from the mouthpiece that he couldn’t listen AND talk at the same time. I just loved how he imagined that I had no idea what he had experienced because to him, this phone is an anomaly. And I miss card-catalogs. But not in an “I miss using them” kind of way.

  • aka gringita

    This made me smile. My sister and I called our grandparents “Mommom” and “Poppop” and “Nana” and “Grampa.” My nieces call their Dad’s parents “Grandma” and “Grandpa” and their Mom’s parents “Nana” and “Poppa.” (As far as they’re concerned, Grandma is not short for “grandmother”, it’s her NAME.)

  • Simon

    The U channel, that is hilarious. We watch a lot of stuff on netflix or DVR so when there is something actually on TV my daughter never understands why we can’t “fast it over” past the commercials.

  • Sherry

    My mom goes by MiMi. I called my grandma’s the very original, Grandma Salyer & Grandma Moffitt ….but only Grandma when I was with either. Make sense? It never did…
    My son will wonder most about the U channel on our black n white TV…

  • Kelly Tsuhlares

    Right there with you on the internet. All the teachers in Clay’s school have Ipads. I give it just a few years and he won’t even be handing in paper homework. Sad to say he will miss the fun of a nicely sharpened pencil. So much fun to read! Thanks!

  • itchemeyer

    The internet is crazy! I used to run into old people when I was doing IT who would tell me, “Why do I need the internet, I can do everything right now?”
    Do you think old people always acted like that? Like when they put in plumbing and electricity? Vats a matta vit pooping in da outhouse? What? So you put on your coat and go. You kids today, everybody vith der toilets and all ten toes. Bah.

  • Carolyn Henderson

    Guilty as charged regarding the grandparents’ name thing. I’m Nonna. My mom went by NeNe. My grandmother by Nana. We’ve got a theme going here . . .

  • timitude

    liked it -> keep it up.

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