I often get this feeling during a debate where I want to yell "don't you know..." or "don't you remember", and then stop myself as I realize that no, they don't know what I know, and/or they are too young to remember what I do.
My 8-year-old said a couple of things that drove home to me just how much her view of the world can be different than mine. She's a very bright girl - but she's only 8.
Those 2 things were:
"Mommy, what's are Jesus?", and "What's 9/11?".
Now, when I was her age, I was going to a public school where most of the kids were Christian, and as an adult I live in an extremely multicultural world. Our Jewish neighbourhood is just one part of my life. I like the fact that my kids have a strong identity and are able to feel "normal" instead of constantly feeling like a minority - but I forget sometimes just how different their upbringing is from what mine was, and just how much they are living in a Jewish bubble. Until she attended a camp on the Italian side of town last summer, she had never heard of Jesus. She wasn't actually aware that Jesus was a person - she just assumed that it was the plural form of jeez, and has no idea what that was.
The second question floored me even more. We were in New York last winter, and went to Ground Zero. My older daughter knew all about 9/11. She had been a toddler when it happened, and it's part of her earliest memories. Kids at daycare and school talked about it, and she saw us watching footage on TV. My 8-year-old, though, is 3 years younger, and was born 13 months after the attacks. Even though it was still all around us, from our books to conversations, she was in her little-kid world and never clued in, preferring endless Disney programs to CNN. It never occurred to me, however, that she DIDN'T know about it until she asked me that question.