Will there be Fortnite and selfies when my kids are 50? '“Â Simon Carter
Cast your mind back to when you were in your early teens, stuffed full of innocence and enthusiasm,Â no doubt.
Did you ever look at your mum and dad and consider the question '˜what must it feel like to be my parents?' Put another way, what must it feel like to be old?
When you're a teenager, your twenties seem far away, let alone your thirties and forties. And as for your fifties '¦ well, The Who's lyric from My GenerationÂ '“Â '˜Hope I die before I get old' '“Â sums that age group up well for kids of any era.
But those words should represent a state of mind, rather than an actual age. And I'm bound to say that because this week I celebrate my 50th birthday.
Yes, I am about to reach my Golden Jubilee. I was born closer to the year 1918 than the year 2021, which is certainly a sobering thought. I am now as old as my dad was when I was 26.
My own flesh and blood are much younger '“Â 16 and 15 '“Â now that their old man is, er, old (okay, old-ish). I wonder how old my grandchildren will be when my kids are 50? Back in 1968, the average age of women giving birth for the first time was 27. In 2017, it was 30. Will that figure continue to rise?
As I approach 50, the questions pour out from a fevered imagination.Â What will life in England be like for Ben in 2052 when he completes his half-century? I guess people will still be writing to the Portsmouth News about Brexit, that's for sure.
What will technology be like when Ellen turns 50 in 2053? When I was born, we were still 14 years away from the first commercially available mobile phone. Now my daughter spends most of her life on one. Will technology exist to enable her to take even MORE selfies in a 24-hour period?
When I was a teenager, Pac Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids and Donkey King were at the vanguard of computer graphics. Lest we forget, I was three when Atari first released Pong, the world's first video game, in 1972.
In comparison, the games Ben plays today on his double monitor are so realistic I half expect to be splattered in the enemy's blood when I'm watching them on screen. How can they make these games even more lifelike than they are?
Here's a thought '“Â perhaps they can't, and perhaps Pong will make a comeback. Retro is cool, that kind of thing ...
A few months after I was born, man walked on the moon for the first time.
A half century on, the '˜giant leap for mankind' remains one of the greatest events of my lifetime.
One wonders what the equivalent will be for today's millennials, my children, in this increasingly snowflake-dominated society we live in?
Savour those smelly nappies
Not that long ago, or so it seems, I was changing Ellen's nappies; then I was helping her learn to read, to ride a bike, to swim.Â
Then there were dolls, collecting Moshi Monsters, and visiting the '˜delights' (other words are available) which is the Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Now the sands of time have continued to feverishly pour and I'm trying to sort her out some work experience for this summer '“Â a five-day spell in the company of sensible, responsible adults, and in the real world too.
A warning to all parents of toddlers and babies '“Â this above scenario will happen to you.
Please don't think it won't, because it will.
One day you'll be reading Biff and Chipper books, the next revising for GCSE exams.
So PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you enjoy every day with your little ones '“Â they don't stay little for long, and when they're bigger you'll pine for the time they were smaller.
Anyway, in the absence of any companies seeking 15-year-old girls adept at taking (pouting) selfies, Ellen has had to broaden her horizons.
Plan A is to find an equine vets, as she adores horses and would one day like to work with them.
So far, no joy, and so the search goes on.
Life was much easier when Ellen was in nappies.