Who had it tougher?

My son was sick the other day. His allergies were giving him trouble and he had cold-like symptoms. He was generally fine, but you could tell he was tired and, with several tests coming up, he needed a break. My wife gave him an over-the-counter nasal spray and, just like that, he was better. The medicine and a good night’s rest were all he needed.

My son is a strong kid, but he’s got nothing on kids of the 80s. When I got sick as a kid, my mother would load up my neck and chest with Vicks Vapor Rub and give me an aspirin. Good luck falling asleep with that mess on your chest!

I would toss and turn with that crazy concoction before finally passing out in the wee hours of the morning. We’d try the Vicks route for a few miserable nights. If and only if the Vicks didn’t work and my cold and cough didn’t get any better, then we’d go to the doctor.

We were just tougher back then. That’s not all.

–Doing school work. We didn’t have smartphones or laptops to look up our homework or write out our English papers. We had to do all that by hand. We were toughened up by looking things up via the Dewey Decibel System in the library. 

–Getting to School. My son rode the bus in middle school. He hasn’t ridden it since. He’s drove or been dropped off at the high school. Meanwhile, I rode the bus well into my senior year. We didn’t have a third car for me to take. If I wanted a ride, I had to find a friend to take me or buy my own car. 

–Spending free time. My son likes all kinds of music, rap, R&B, heavy metal, and rock. He constantly finds new music on Spotify. When we liked new music, we had to play the radio and record it on a tape deck or spend a fortune on the cassette not-knowing if we were buying a one-hit wonder.  

–Making plans for the weekend. Finally, when I talked on the phone with friends as a kid, I had to use the phone in my dad’s old, dusty work bench or, God forbid, in the kitchen where my brothers could hear. I’m not even sure my son uses his smartphone as a phone. 

Yes, we had it tougher!

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