This generation of children will never take school for granted again. (Jennifer Bardsley)

This generation of children will never take school for granted again. (Jennifer Bardsley)

40 years later, our kids will have quite the story to tell

“When I was your age, I wasn’t allowed to go to school. It was a canceled because of a pandemic.”

Don’t let me hear you complain about waking up early to go to school, young man. When I was your age, I wasn’t allowed to go to school. It was a canceled because of a pandemic. You don’t know how lucky you have it.

I had to walk 3 miles up hill around the neighborhood each day, because that was recess. Forget about four square or kickball. My PE was doing online barre3 with my mom. And let me tell you, there are some things you can’t unsee — and your grandma doing the supine twist in leggings is one of them.

Your backpack is on the floor again. Really? You can’t spend 60 seconds to pick it up and bring it to your room? Let me tell you, back in my day, I didn’t even get to use a backpack. There wasn’t any point. Instead of books to carry, the only thing standing between me and total ignorance was my Chromebook. What’s a Chromebook? Oh, good grief.

I used my Chromebook to navigate from one website to the next, trying to keep up with my “remote learning” curriculum. I met with my teacher over a platform called Zoom, and the only exciting part was when her cat came on camera and pounced on the keyboard.

But at least I had Zoom meetings. Your uncle didn’t have any, and his teachers kept telling him “these assignments aren’t mandatory” over and over again until he pretty much gave up on school and self-taught himself ancient history by watching YouTube channels.

What do you mean you didn’t empty your lunch box from yesterday? Don’t you realize how lucky you are to have a lunch box? When I was your age, I didn’t use my lunch box for months. Instead of sandwiches, I ate whatever your grandmother put on the table, including leftovers. Sometimes it was weird stuff, too, like when the grocery delivery was late and she had to scrape together soup with whatever she could find in the fridge.

I had enough to eat, but there were unusual shortages. We couldn’t buy flour for a whole month. When your grandma finally found some, she wrapped it up as a present and gave it to your uncle for his 15th birthday.

Sure, I’ll put your artwork the refrigerator. This is really pretty. When I was your age, art was what you did outside with sidewalk chalk. Kids would write inspirational sayings like “Let’s take care of each other” and “You’ve got this!” Sidewalk chalk became so popular that it sold out online. When your grandfather found a spare pack in the garage, we cheered.

So don’t let me hear you complain, mister. School is a blessing. Now hurry up, or you’ll be late.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Washington’s most beloved state park turns 100

Deception Pass State Park, which draws as many visitors as the best-known national parks in the U.S., celebrates a century of recreation and conservation

Hydrangea and rose
July checklist for Snohomish County gardeners

After a slow start to summer, things should take off this month. So keep planting and nurturing.

Caption: The 12 week Edmonds Community Police Academy was a free opportunity for private citizens to learn about law enforcement.
An inside look at how law enforcement works

A pregnant mother. A man who rescues abused horses and donkeys. A… Continue reading

Kid 'n Play members Christopher "Kid" Reid, left, and Christopher "Play" Martin perform on NBC's "Today" show during the "I Love The 90's" morning concert at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, April 29, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Relive the music of the 1990s with Kid N Play and other stars of the era at the Tulalip Casino Amphitheater.

So-called relaxing summer vacations can wear you out

To truly enjoy a family getaway, tone down your expectations. Everything won’t be picture-perfect.

Gimmelwald, built in an avalanche zone, yet specializing in alpine tranquility.
Roaming the Alps brings cultural insights along with the views

The Swiss have great respect for Alpine traditions and culture — and contempt for tourists who disrespect both.

Will TripMate cover costs for trip canceled for medical reasons?

After Stanley Wales cancels his diving trip to Bonaire, he files a travel insurance claim with TripMate. What’s taking them so long to respond?

Contestant chef Brian Madayag (left) of Edmonds and West Coast team captain Brooke Williamson on “Beachside Brawl.” (Food Network) 20220616
Edmonds chef reps Pacific Northwest on new Food Network show

Barkada owner Brian Madayaga will compete on a new Food Network series that premiers Sunday.

Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’ (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Kosteri’

This Hinoki cypress is graceful and beautiful, and is very drought-tolerant once established.

Photo Caption: Butter prints like this one pressed a design into freshly made butter as a decoration or for marketing. Today, collectors search for antique butter prints and consider them folk art.
19th century farm families’ butter prints are coveted folk art

One example with a flower-and-heart design recently sold at auction for more than $5,000.

After two years of wellness, Covid finally hit this family, but thanks to vaccinations, the symptoms were mild. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Jennifer Bardsley’s fighting COVID-19 with vaccines and TLC

But even with vaccinations, the disease is scary for people like her with less than robust immune systems.

Turkey vultures’ pervious nostrils are among the features that help them feed on carrion. (The Columbian files)
In praise of turkey vultures, nature’s cleaning service

These raptors should be revered, not reviled, for their disposal of stinky, disease-laden animal matter.