Cracker Jack

Do you remember the cracker jack boxes? I am not sure if they still have them. They were filled with candy popcorn and nuts. In the middle of the cracker jack box would be a surprise–a small toy of some type.

Nowadays there are so many regulations on who gets those little toys (you might swallow one and hurt yourself) that we don’t get those surprises anymore.

So what has changed? A couple of my writing friends have written about the changes in our culture of special snowflakes, people who expect the world to soften the blows of living. One of the issues I read recently was calling anything that made them uncomfortable as rape or a PTSD trigger. Go On. Pull That Trigger takes that issue head on.

Personally, I am not too happy with some of the changes like when a girl decides she doesn’t want to live the household rules, but still expects her parents to support her in her new lifestyle. Is she a child or is she a legal adult? Hard to tell when some of the current crop of newly made adults want both.

When I finally left home at twenty-one, I was expected to support myself with my own money. It was hard. I didn’t have food stamps even though I barely had enough money for one meal a day. I didn’t have government housing. I found a group of girls who rented a house and lived with them. I worked forty hours a week to pay for my bills. I didn’t go on vacation because I couldn’t afford it. Most of all I didn’t expect my parents or the government to pick up my bill for college. I went into the Navy for six years, earned the GI bill, and then earned my BA in English Literature from UMUC.

I don’t see the self-sufficiency that I was expected to have when I reached adulthood. I see that sheltering the next generation from hard knocks and competition is detrimental to them. That allowing children to live soft lives doesn’t prepare them for reality. I am not saying make it always hard for them. Children do need protection from danger. Competition is not danger.

I didn’t have children– so you can believe me, or not.

What I did do was raise my brothers as a child. I was the oldest of nine. I do know babies and children– I have done my time changing diapers, burping babies, and cleaning scraped knees. I even had to have the “sex” talk because my parents wouldn’t do it.

4 thoughts on “Cracker Jack

  1. I’ve seen some “soft” kids coming up through college who have been raised by helicopter parents determined never to let them fail. They’re not doing the kids any favours.

  2. They still have Cracker Jack (I suppose the boxes are still around somewhere, but I usually see bags).

    Unfortunately, the “prizes” nowadays are made of cardboard or paper. They don’t last long, and aren’t all that great to begin with.

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