Recently our 20 year old grandson came for a 3-day visit. Needless to say my husband Jeff and I were thrilled, shocked and a little wary. After all, how often does a 20 year old want to spend time with grandparents, let alone 3 days.
The visit went really well. We planned all of his favorite activities – Costco’s, Longwood Gardens, and just spending quality time together. We started with a trip to Costco’s for clothes, hiking ‘stuff’ and, of course, orders of chiros. These are sticks of dough, fried then rolled in cinnamon. Wonderful for a 20 year old’s metabolism but an extra inch to the hips for those of us whose metabolism has left the building! Oh the sacrifices we make for our grandkids.
Next stop Longwood Gardens. I wish I could explain his fascination with this beautiful treasure. We’ve been taking he and his brother there since they were little and the thrill still exists for both, especially during the Christmas season with the dancing fountain display, the animations along the lake and, of course, the hot chocolate and trains. Seeing this specular garden through his 5, 10 and 20 year-old eyes gives us a new appreciation every time. Of course, walking for 3-4 hours has given me a new perspective of just how out of shape I’ve gotten over the years. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our grandkids.
Of all the activities we shared, spending quality time together discussing ‘whatever’ is our favorite. Jeff and I get a chance to share our ‘wisdom’, gentle guidance and sage advice with him. And I know he’s getting what we’re saying because lovingly and respectfully he would say, “OK, boomer” – a phrase he used frequently throughout our conversations.
When he left to return home to Baltimore, Jeff and I relived the visit, amazed at the openness in which he listened to our sage advice. Our ‘glowing’ however, was short lived! That evening we were watching the news and a report entitled “Ok, boomer” flashed on the screen. We smiled at each other and just as we were about to pat ourselves on the back, the report shattered our illusion. “OK, boomer” is a viral internet slang phrase used, often in a humorous or ironic manner by the Gen Z, iGen or Centennial generations, to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation and older people more generally. We looked at each other in utter disbelief. Can we be THAT gullible, innocent and out-of-touch? Just then the phone rang. It was the soon-to-be-removed from the will grandson laughing hysterically. He was watching the same report and thought he’d better call and explain. After saying “OK, boomer” several times, he realized we didn’t know what it meant but couldn’t stop himself. He assured us that he took our sage advice seriously. After we hung up, Jeff and I looked at each other and said Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.