05/27/2005 01:41 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Personal Note

At least I didn’t cry this time. Not very long ago, I took my little girl to school for her first day of kindergarten. This morning, we drove together to her last day of high school. (OK, I cried a little)

I had planned to post a few medical notes about this morning’s news about phthalates and genital damage and maybe even mention that Viagra probably doesn’t cause blindness but the story sure caught the attention of a lot of men and sold a lot of newspapers.

Instead, I have been reflecting on the way this generation has screwed up its children far worse than any other generation has. I can’t imagine my parents thinking these same thoughts.

Since my daughter started kindergarten, we have elected some of the most horseshit presidents in the history of the country. An amoral Texas oilman, and a junk food eating sexual predator who looked and acted cute enough to still be remembered as a good president. Then we gave them an unethical, lying warmongering doofus. Nice larger than life role models for the “money and blow jobs trump all” generation we have created.

My generation’s drugs were bad enough but now we have millions of kids and teens taking prescription drugs that have never been tested adequately on those age groups. The short-term issues are tough but the long-term consequences are being grossly underestimated as the pharmaceutical industry pursues profit and parents and educators look for easy ways out. (OK, not everything the pharmas do is evil and not every teacher wants the whole classroom on speed, but sometimes it feels that way from where I sit.)

I have a few facile solutions: feed kids better, throw a rock through your TV, speak nicely to one another and teach your one-year-old, ten-year-old and teenager that’s it’s OK to be unhappy once in a while and not get everything now. (I wish I had a do-over on that advice . . .)

Still and all, a serious bunch of kudos (the word used over and over again in the weekly newsmagazines at graduation time) to my peer group of parents who have shepherded their kids through the past thirteen years and will cry their eyes out as those tassels are turned over the next few weeks.