Of course they were. Dad wasn’t always the guy who came home at six and plopped down on the La-Z-Boy, reading the paper until dinner was ready… And your Mom didn’t grow up dreaming she’d be a scold, reminding you to wear a sweater or pull on your galoshes or turn down the music…
Time is the most relentless force in the universe; all things in nature bow before its inexorable path. Including us. And our parents.
Which is why on this Friday, just for a moment, I encourage you to go to this charming site. Go and remind yourself that if you were lucky enough to have one or two adults raise you, they didn’t start out as parents. They were just young men and women with their own youthful energy, youthful dreams, and of course, ill-considered youthful fashion missteps.
It’s easy to dismiss whimsical sites like this (or this) as ironic smart assery. And yet they serve to remind us of what we share between generations, what we hold dear inside our ever-young memories, even as the photos offer a chance to grin at the folly of youth in 1982. And 1975. And 1968. They facilitate connection.
We never can know our parents as equals, and that distance probably helps them shape us into better human beings. But every now and then, it’s fun to see what they looked like when they were kids and imagine what they held dear, back before we knew them and more critically, back before they knew us.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79