To all the kids who survived the 1930’s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s:
“First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
No ultrasounds, fetal monitors or birthing suites. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our bellies in cribs that had wide slats and were covered with lead-base paint.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or child-proof locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.
We rode in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts and no air bags.
We drank water from the garden hose, not from a bottle.
If we were lucky enough to have a bottle of pop – which in those days was 8 oz – we shared it with four friends, all drinking from the same bottle. And no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes made with Crisco, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank whole milk and Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. Yet, we weren’t overweight. WHY?
Because we were always outside playing! We would leave home in the morning and play all day.
No play dates, no adult interference – no adult was able to reach us all day. And, we were okay …as long as we were in the house before the streetlights came on.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and rusty nails and then ride them down a hill, only to find out we forgot to add brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
No Playstations, Nintendos, X-Boxes, or Wii. TVs had three channels, two of which were fuzzy even with rabbit ears. Kids took the place of remotes –it was our job to actually walk across the room and manually turn the channel selector.
No 150 channels on cable, no DVDs, no surround-sound – We saw movies at the theatre as a special treat or waited for the night the Charlie Brown special came on TV.
No iPods, cell phones, laptops, Internet, chat rooms or Facebook. Instead, we rode bikes or walked to friends’ houses and went to the side door to ask their parents if they could come out.
We fell out of trees,Status, cut ourselves, broke bones, knocked out teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies.
We were given BB guns for our tenth birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out our eyes.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Trophies were reserved for winners, not all participants. Imagine that!!
A swat on the behind kept us in line. The idea of our parents bailing us out if we misbehaved in school or broke the law, was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! And we got it double when they got us home.
It was a different time and it produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of technology and new ideas.
Why? Because as kids we had freedom, failure, success and responsibility – and we learned how to deal with it all.
We were lucky to grow up before the media made parents paranoid and the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.”