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When I Was A Kid…

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With my sister in 1967.

With my sister in 1967.

I spent most of my childhood, growing up in a small town in Florida.

When I was a kid…

  • We played outside.
  • We played outside without our parents having to watch us.
  • We played Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers or War. (and never really thought about actually owning a gun!)
  • We dug in the dirt.
  • We made forts and hideouts on empty lots with brush and debris.
  • We rode bicycles for hours. (Without helmets.)
  • We sometimes built a fire and slept in a tent in the backyard.
  • We were often barefoot.
  • For special entertainment, we played outside at our cousins’ houses.

When I was a kid…

  • We had daily chores like dusting and washing dishes.
  • We read books. My sister and I checking out 20 books at a time from the library.
  • We learned how to grow vegetables in a garden.
  • We saved our allowance all year so we could buy Christmas presents for our family.
  • If we wanted candy or ice cream, we picked up pop bottles and cashed them in for their deposit at the nearby convenience store.
  • We did our homework without being told. (And it actually affected our grades.)

When I was a kid…

  • If we had fast food it was a special occasion. A sit down restaurant was an event.
  • We watched television less than 3 hours a day.
  • When we wanted to look something up, we used the encyclopedia.
  • Telephones had cords and were only used for important (short) conversations.
  • We wrote letters and mailed cards for birthdays and holidays.
  • Dessert was a rare treat not a daily source of nutrition.
  • We drank water from the tap (or even from the hose). We had pop/soda no more than once a week.
  • Other than going to the grocery, shopping was only something you did for school clothes and at Christmas.
  • If there was something you really wanted, it didn’t magically show up at the end of the day. If you were lucky in might show up under the Christmas tree.
  • We didn’t hang out at the mall or see all the current movies. (I can count the movies I saw growing up on my fingers.)
  • We learned to draw, write, and made and built things with our hands.
  • We knew how to use our imaginations.

When I was a kid…

  • We didn’t have computers, or Internet, or Smart Phones or cable TV.
  • If we wanted to communicate, we opened our mouths.
  • Safety was something you did, not a government mandate.
  • Teachers weren’t babysitters, they were actually allowed to teach class.
  • We didn’t always lock our doors.
  • Black Friday didn’t start in July.

When I was a kid…

  • We loved our country and believed in the American Dream.
  • Politicians were intelligent and respected– they were our heroes.
  • Congress did something.
  • We weren’t afraid of Police. They were there to help us.
  • Guns were only used by soldiers, police and hunters.
  • Most families we knew only had one working parent, with one job and they were able to live comfortably.
  • We were taught honesty and hard work were the keys to success.
  • We thought people were just people regardless of color, class or religion.
  • You could believe what you heard on the news.
  • Everyone wasn’t out to get you.

Then we grew up…

And everything changed.

 

 


3 Comments

  1. Oh how true. The world has lost out on so much children are no longer children.

    Like

  2. But how did you survive the fire ants? Also, I wonder what this list would look like if you were black.

    Like

    • jlinamen1229 says:

      Fire ants were avoidable– most of the time. And great observation/question with the “what if you were black”. I’m sure much of the list would have been different. It was one of the reasons I posted “small town in Florida” realizing the list would be different depending what region, city-size, etc. would also make a difference.

      Like

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