It’ll be a year and a half of blogging tomorrow. Sometimes, I write on the hard-hitting issues of the day. Then there are other times:
Got one of “those” e-mails that was supposed to remind me of the “good old days”, which I might have just read and deleted, but which somehow penetrated my mind:
About 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.
Well, my mom didn’t drink or smoke, and in any case, fetal alcohol syndrome is a real problem that some kids didn’t survive.
Plus they took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
81 mg of aspirin daily except the week before I’m about to donate blood.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
Yeah, we DIDN’T die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, luckily.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Seat belts almost certainly saved my life at least once.
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.
To this day, I wouldn’t ride my bike without a helmet; it reduces the chance of brain injury something like 80%.
I DID used to hitchhike regularly until about 1979, but I had a few peculiar encounters.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
Yes, I did do that and survived not falling out.
We didn’t cough into our elbows, we forgot to wash our hands sometimes, and never used a sanitizing gel to get clean.
Actually, I wonder about the efficacy of sanitizing gel. Where do the germs GO?
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
I AM astonished about the bottled water industry. Some comedian – why do I think it was Carlin? – pretty much asked the same question. So, were we all dehydrated for years? Probably.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle
NO ONE and actually died from this.
As far as we know.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because …
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING !
Well, I WAS overweight as a kid, though I was, in fact, always out 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.
Largely true in my case, actually, though I was always likely at Valley Street park, the Ansco ball field past the cemetery, or on the school playground.
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.
Well, it wasn’t go-karts, but I did ride my bike with bad brakes down a steep hill into bushes. I survived in spite of that, but I was lucky a couple times.
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 or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms…….
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
I had friends, but I also had a lot of solitary pursuits as well.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.
Always need the requisite lawyer-bashing in these things.
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.
The first half IS true.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang
the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Not in my neighborhood, even then.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
This DOES resonate a bit.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!
Except when the law was a ass.
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!
Implicit in this is that persons born later than 1979 will not be innovative and creative? Oh, please.
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?!
The whole premise of “the good, old days,” when the life expectancy was less, when people died of diseases that are now all but eradicated, with injuries that can now be treated is bogus.
But the other underlying theme, that we can now have GPS on our kids’ cellphones so we know where they are at every minute, almost literally, IS largely true. Even when I was a kid, I was cognizant of “bad people out there”. But IS our reaction too much? I don’t know, but as Lydia grows up, I suspect I’ll find out.
Your thoughts are welcome.