Sunday, August 2, 2020

Little pockets

We no longer live in little pockets of society. We can't. There is a bigger world waiting and our children and grandchildren will grow up in it. Time is of the essence.

I was watching a documentary last week about third world countries and the problems they were experiencing with underage marriages. They were concerned with the percentage of your women between the ages of 14 and 19 who were starting families when they were just children themselves. I had to perk up a little to let this sink in. Golly, most of my life, young girls were married right out of high school if not before. So were we like a third world country?

Well, in some ways we were. Our kids were raised by those kids who fell into that age group when they married. They were just youngsters themselves. The marriage lasted long which I attribute to kids managing their way through an adult world together. Marriage, babies, grandparents at 50. Yes, this caught my attention.

My granddaughter who is a senior in college this next school year was filling me in on her friends. She is now 21. She told me about a girl who lived in her hall her freshman year who was getting married right after graduation. She laughed, "Can you imagine getting married that young?". I was 23 when I first married. Yes, felt I was too young even then. What did I know of the world, of other opinions, of other ways of life? Like in third world countries, the girls never went far from home. They all seem interrelated due to the decades of young community members marrying someone who always lived in the same area. We were blessed because our mother wanted us to find lives away from the area.

Perhaps it has to do with the Amish roots that settled in the area. Youngsters left school at 16 or earlier if needed on the farm. Babies born to babies. Boys becoming men before they could barely shave. Perhaps it was like a third world. Third world USA.

We can't afford to keep to ourselves in a world that is so interconnected. It is not our world or that of our parents. It is time to be moving our families forward not backwards. We parents and grandparents need to do the same.

Little pockets hold very little. Sometimes they hold on too tight and mash what's in them.

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