Sometimes, for the sheer entertainment factor, I try to imagine what real pioneers would have made of our modern conveniences.
One of my favorite imaginings is showing up on the prairie with a Jumparoo, that magical piece of equipment deemed a necessity for the modern baby. The Jumparoo allowed me to exhaust my baby whilst doing important things like loading the dishwasher, running the vacuum or taking a bubble bath ( I brought the Jumparoo into the bathroom with me… genius, I know). A real pioneer mom could have made bread for the week, hauled water, fed the animals and killed a chicken without worrying that her baby would accidentally crawl into a flaming hearth. In fact, had they had the Jumparoo on their wagons as they climbed the Rockies, I venture to guess they would have dumped their grandma’s china beside the road before letting go of what could have been a very important part of pioneer motherhood.
Can you imagine what the pioneers would have made of modern grocery stores, where Cheetos, candy bars and laundry soap abound? The sheer shock and awe that we as a society treat such things as commonplace would certainly overwhelm. Not to mention how much easier their lives would have been with sanitary supplies, toilet paper, Vicks vapor rub, Tylenol and Zoloft.
Last weekend, we took the girls to Super Bounce in Salem for a birthday party. I had not yet experienced the wonders of such a place and was momentarily struck mute by what my eyes beheld. Actually, my first thought was, no effin WAY! My second was that of envy as I wouldn’t be allowed to climb up and whiz down that super-amazing slide. And finally, my third thought; the real pioneers would have crapped their pants to think that in a matter of a century, their future kin would be jumping around in over-sized blow up contraptions. With their everyday survival, who would ever have the time, money, inclination to build something so outrageous just to entertain children? Children, who in their time, would be needed to work as soon as they could walk to help keep the family alive.
Ah, the joys of modern pioneering! While we yearn to get back to the earth, and we are, we are still fully relishing the convenience of raising our children in the modern world. Here’s to being a New Pioneer and not a real one.