TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolaide made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because...
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound, CD's or Ipods, no cell phones!, no personal computers , no Internet or chat rooms....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and kno cked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned...
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them . . CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!
Well... A few thoughts... Who do you suppose made the Playstation and the IPOD? And who is giving their kids cell phones because outside is no longer safe? It's the parents born in the 60s and 70s. Why aren't the kids outside? Because they're warehoused in child care centers while their parents are working--either to make ends meet or to keep up the ritzy lifestyle, depending on the particular family. Why aren't the neighborhoods safe? Because there are no kids playing and no families insisting on safe neighborhoods. Perhaps life would be better if we expected more out of it... In the movie, Girl, Interrupted, there is a scene at the end... One of the young ladies in the mental institution defends her crazy behavior by saying, "I'm playing the villain, just like you want me to..." Is much of society doing just what we expect of them? I don't know about the rest of you reading this; but I can tell you that in my life, the people who call forth the best in me are the ones who expect the most, not the ones who communicate to me that I'm just the blind girl who hasn't done much with her life. Recently, a couple of professors have told me that I have the potential to do some specific things very well. I don't really feel like they are correct; but I have wondered what would happen if I acted as if they were. I'm giving it a try... Could it be that if we expected our friends and neighbors to be capable of generosity and positive change, they might act like it?
I rode in the back of a pick-up truck, the wind flying through my hair; slept in the back of a station wagon; and took a ride on the back of my cousin's motorcycle--without a helmet.</p>
I played in the grass, and didn't think about whether some stray dog had pooped in it.
We left the dog outside and didn't mind if she barked her fool head off--because everyone else's dogs were doing the same because that's what dogs do.
When new neighbors moved in, we came to know their names and something about them--and most people lived in the neighborhood for ten to twenty years.
Every kid in the neighborhood rode their bike up and down the streets, and we knew all of their names.
The neighborhood teens babysat the neighborhood little kids when the parents went out on dates. The teens' moms babysat the kids after school--and did not fill the afternoons with planned activities a la preschool. We were served a snack and expected to entertain ourselves as if we were at home--their homes were a kind of second home to us, and we were expected to treat their belongings with respect.
Being a latchkey kid was normal, and there was rarely a kid in day care over 10. When I became a latchkey, I checked in with my previous babysitter upon arriving home.
I didn't do much playing outside, but I knew how to entertain myself indoors... I had a dollhouse, loved to read, and was keeping a journal by the time I was 12. ... And I was expected to entertain myself, not rely on my parents to give me things to do.
My parents read to me each night.
I was expected to clean my room before having friends over; and I was not allowed to have them over if I didn't do the job.
Getting to eat in front of the TV was a treat.
No one cussed on primetime TV.
People actually cooked on the grill a few times a month. (I can't remember the last time I've had food cooked on a grill that wasn't a George Foreman.)
Being an alcoholic was a sign of trouble and a cause for prayer, not a cause for disgust.
My parents prayed when I was sick.