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  • Im Soo Han

I’m Sorry - I Contributed Two to the Millennial Generation

I’m sorry. I contributed two to the Millennial Generation. As soon as I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test, I knew I would take the necessary measures to save my child from becoming me. I am the result of my parents’ free range parenting style, and I vowed my children would be different, more loved, more confident. But there was an over-correction; thus, the millennials.

My parents would not likely have admitted out loud that their primary focus in life was not about their children, but about making money and more money. They would say that their attention to making money was for their children’s benefit. That may be partially true. Unfortunately, there was also an underlying, and carefully concealed, competition to have the best, the best car, the best house, the best purse. This competition among friends to spur on Reagonomics at the expense of their children’s welfare was not lost on me.

I’m a Gen Z, aptly named the Forgotten Generation. Being afforded free range, Gen Zers did not receive the oversight, nor the affection, we hungered for. Thus, Grunge rock was born. And we had coke. We figured out how to be numb. We were so desperately lonely and so alone.

When I was pregnant with my son, I promised myself that I would be with him at all time to create so many childhood memories that he would not be able to pick out his favorite one. When we had magicians and Santa Claus and bouncy castles at my toddlers’ birthday parties, my in-laws told me, “Too bad they won’t remember any of this.” I would think to myself, “You’re so wrong.” I believed that the happiness generated by these elaborate events would seep into their long-term psych. So that continued, with parents competing against parents to see how much more sacrificial they can be. And then the internet, the cell phone, the MySpace, all exposed the Millennials to see that there were others who were given even much more than you. What you were given was almost nothing in comparison.

So, yeah, Millennials.

And I would like to also apologize to the Millennials for my participation in said competition. We created such an unrealistic world for you. Food would just appear. Beds would be made when you came home. And when you could not find your sport’s uniform freshly laundered, then we allowed you to scream and stomp your feet like toddlers. We would end up apologizing for the oversight.

We also didn’t leave you a moment alone to have your own thoughts. You were too busy. You were afforded the option to pick two or three after school activities — gymnastics, piano, karate, soccer — whatever you wanted to do and boy, were you so talented; everyone said so. That’s what we did to you. Now you wonder what happened to the world you were once the center of. I’m sorry.

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