15 years ago today my oldest child was born. It is hard to believe that she is “halfway to 30″ as she pointed out last night!!! Hannah has never known a time without a computer in her home. Her life began with an IBM PS/1 machine that she used to play several Disney games and eventually moved on to Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. Later she had access to a Macintosh Performa passed down from her aunt. This introduced CD-ROMs to her life and many great learning programs like Oregon Trail, several Jump Start discs, and Kid Pix. The internet and a PowerBook G3 Lombard, PowerBook G4 Titanium, an old PowerMac 5500, a beige Power Macintosh G3, an iMac Summer 2001, and our new Mac Pro have all been at Hannah’s disposal at various times over the past 15 years. Her iPod Mini has experienced heavy use for the past couple of years, and her digital life is second nature. I don’t think she gives a thought to the amazing power she has access to each and every day.
I was born in 1965 on a ranch. A transistor radio was high tech for me in my early years. I did not have a color television until after I graduated from high school in 1984. Growing up I had access to 2 television channels. I got a cassette tape recorder/player in junior high, and a portable cassette tape player in high school (I couldn’t afford a Walkman). However, I did start using computers (Apple IIe) in high school. My children ask what I did without all the technology we have today. Remember, I was born on a ranch!
I worked! We had a dairy until I was in 8th grade. I helped milk the cows. On the ranch I farmed the ground, planted crops, sprayed weeds, fixed fence, doctored and herded cattle, rode horses, fixed fence, irrigated, baled hay, stacked hay, fixed fence, was in 4-H, FFA, fixed fence, trapped muskrat, mink, and beaver, fixed fence, hunted, fished, fixed fence, and did I mention fixed fence!!! I would never trade this experience for anything, and I sometimes feel sorry for my children who will not get an opportunity to learn the values and benefits of the ranching life I grew up with.
Nevertheless, I am amazed at the access to information that my children have today. They are much smarter than I ever could have imagined to be at their ages. Smart kids need smart toys, and the digital age supports the two!!! Hannah will venture on in this digital age probably looking back at my life as something from ancient history. She will adjust and change with new technologies without a thought or concern. It is natural to her, just like it was natural for me to work on a ranch from daylight to dusk (and in the middle of the night when the cattle or horses got out, fixed fence, or when we were in the middle of calving season). These are the lives Hannah and I know/knew. Time marches on, and we continue to travel into the future together.
Hannah has had to fix fence. You didn’t think I would let her get away without that experience did you!?! Happy birthday Hannah, I love you!!!