I Survived My Youth Despite What We Didn’t Know

I was a kid in the 70s, a teenager in the 80s, a wife and mom in the 90s. . . same job description here in the 2000s. Despite being a seventies kid, I made it. Looking back on things, I’m surprised how many of us did.

I remember having a freedom today’s children, most of them, will never know. If we’d had the internet back then, we might not have been allowed to run out the door in the mornings to play and climb trees, build forts and ride bikes until the street lamps began to light the darkening sky.

I don’t think there were less dangers back then, we were just blissfully unaware of so many of them. We’ve learned a lot since then. I image the adults who grew up in the 40s, 50s, and 60s felt the same way about the changes they saw. I wonder what we’ll know and do differently in another 30 years.

It’s been a while, but I do have memories of my childhood, thank God I survived it!

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I crashed and burned on every one of these things, as well as a few shopping carts, toboggans, and pogo sticks. I had cuts and scrapes and road burns. My mom pulled gravel out of my knees and elbows, butterfly bandaged slices and slashes, and sent me right back out to play.

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I rode on my grandfathers lap as he drove to the corner store for cigarettes and candy, I ate the candy and he smoked on the drive home. Seat belts? How would I crawl over the seats or sit up on  my knees to see better? I rode in the back of my aunt’s station wagon and made faces at the people behind us. That flimsy metal contraption holding the precious baby girl? State of the art child protection right there.

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When my kids were little, I put Mr. Yuck stickers on everything, do they still have those? I loved the taste of Dimetapp when I was a kid. I often snuck it out of the medicine cupboard and helped myself; mind you, that was before they safened up the formula. And Flintstones. They looked like candy, they tasted like candy, and I ate them like candy. Not good. They were always iron fortified. And mercury, so pretty. I accidentally broke a few thermometers to get at that silvery metallic magic.

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If I was thirsty, I drank from the garden hose, a no-no nowadays. I don’t even drink out of my kitchen tap now. We had amalgam fillings and I lost my fair share of blood on pop can tabs. For some reason, we would often peel them back and plop them into the fizzing cola, thankfully, I never swallowed one. I don’t see how I could have, but I’ve heard stories.

And last but not least, for this particular peek back in my timeline, the television knob was lost or broken, and it always seemed to be, we used a pair of locking pliers, attached them to the metal post and spun them round to change the channel. Luckily, there where just a few to choose from.

Now it’s almost 2017, a date I would have thought a million years away when I was a wee little sassy lassy, and I must come back to the present, I have grown-up things to do, like go to bed early because I can . . .

 

7 thoughts on “I Survived My Youth Despite What We Didn’t Know

  1. Yes, yes YES! That is exactly how life was. I was a kid in the 60s and teen in the 70s. No arm-floats in life back then, you either sank or swam! And there were way more insects back then too. Our garden was teeming with creepy-crawlies that we used to catch in jars but now, we rarely see any insects except ants. That baby seat in the car! Wow. And I am with you on the water, we used to drink from the garden hose but now, like you, won’t even drink tap water. A great trip down memory lane here.

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  2. Wow, totally forgot about the whole dropping the pop tab in the soda thing! I definitely did that. I often wonder, as I ponder our behavior and habits back then, whether God knew we were stupid, uniformed, or both and kept a closer eye on us. Oh my goodness, sometimes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I think what my friends and I survived. While I am oh-so grateful for that, I still tend to think a little hose water never hurt anyone, right? 🙂

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