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!
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.
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.
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.
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 . . .