If you are a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I love looking back and remniscing about childhood memories. I know the reason lies in the yearning for a simple time. When we didn’t know or understand the responsibilities of adulthood, the big issues of the world were the concern of our parents, and the world seemed exponentially big before our eyes.
The other day on Facebook I came across a status update. A type of update that I wouldn’t usually read, but after nodding my head at the first couple of points I just had to read on.
I have no doubt it’s probably years old and has been shared in different ways millions of times, but I guess I read it in a moment where I needed to and it really resonated with me.
In the cottonwool-helicopter parenting world we live in I often wonder how the somewhat small changes to the way we view life and bring up our kids are changing us. Of course the world today is a much different world to the one I grew up in – for a variety of reasons. We are more aware, more educated on issues and more engaged with the wider world. And it reflects in the things we worry about. And yes, some of those worries are warranted. Yes, some on this list have changed for the better, but still so many are now worries that we waste time on at our kids’ expense.
I continued reading the list, and found myself nodding along to Every. Single. Point.
It made me sad. Sad not only with a longing for a time that’s gone and will never be again, but sad for the kids of now who won’t ever experience the world as we did. And also for today’s generation of parents who are constantly judged and bombarded with too many opinions, constantly worrying if they are ‘parenting correctly’, like there is a correct way to do it all.
Anyhow, I invite you to take a few moments to read through the list, and not smile as it brings back membories. And I bet you’re still pondering it for days to come.
1. Our sandwiches contained leftover roast chicken; we didn’t have fridges in classrooms or ice bricks in our lunch boxes, but we didn’t get food poisoning.
2. We rode bikes without adult supervision or bike paths but we mostly just ended up with scarred knees.
3. Our mothers wiped our faces with spit on a hanky not an antibacterial wipe.
4. Tuckshop was sausage rolls and cream donuts but kids were wiry and fast.
5. Our parents rarely knew our teachers’ names, let alone their NAPLAN prep strategy.
6. When our teachers would whack us, we wouldn’t tell our parents for fear of getting punished again, so we avoided trouble in the first place.
7. Our trampolines were netless and sometimes hosed with water and a squirt of Palmolive for extra slipperiness.
8. What was said on the playground stayed on the playground.
9. We went on camps and excursions without 18 forms to be signed and witnessed.
10. As toddlers, we rode in supermarket trolleys without padded trolley liner thingys.
11. Angry teachers were treated with caution. We just prayed for a nice one next year.
12. Weekends were about our parents’ social lives. As kids, we played murder in the dark while parents talked with their friends and forgot we existed.
13. Generally, we went to the closest school, not the best one.
14. Kids got scared before parent-teacher interviews, not teachers.
15. We got ourselves to Saturday sport and told tall tales about how the win was won.
16. Helping with the washing up was as important as homework.
17. Birthday parties were fairy bread and Fanta, not fruit kebabs and face painting.
18. When a kid was injured, people felt sorry for her parents. They didn’t ask what the hell were they thinking letting her climb that tree anyway.
19. Cubby houses were built by kids not bought from Toys R Us.
20. If you did badly in a test, you got a talking to, not a cuddle.
21. A pocket-knife was a perfectly acceptable gift for a 10-year-old.
22. If anyone got air conditioning in their bedroom, it was mum and dad.
23. Family holidays came before kids’ sporting schedules.
24. Your dad’s desire to watch Four Corners trumped your need to watch Battlestar Galactica.
25. A teacher could put mercurochrome on a scraped knee without obtaining our parents’ permission and completing an ‘incident report’.
26. A playdate was walking to a friend’s house, ringing the doorbell and saying, ‘Can Cathy come and play?’
27. School excursions happened without a ‘risk assessment’ and a two to one kid / parent volunteer ratio.
28. There was no padding on netball hoop posts.
29. No one wrote names on cups at parties.
30. You could offer your friend a bite of your hot dog.
31. If the bus driver yelled at you, the bus driver didn’t get in trouble, you did.
32. If you didn’t make a team, you tried harder or tried something else.
33. Pass the parcel had one winner.
34. There was one kind of milk. It was full cream and it was delicious.
35. Meat was bought at the butcher, and was packed without a use-by date. Our parents used their noses to tell if the mince was off.
36. Getting one present on your Christmas wish list was good result.
37. Drives of longer than an hour happened without supplies of rice crackers and juice.
38. Going to the shops/church/the nursing home to visit Nan was boring as hell but could be endured without an iPad.
39. School holidays were about not being at school, not soccer workshops, art classes and pony camp.
40. Being tired was no excuse for being rude.
41. You had to do something great to get a ‘student of the week’ award. Not just show up at school.
Which ones resonate most with you?
And how many childhood memories came flooding back and made you smile?
Linking with Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesdays.