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May 23, 2010

Looking In The Mirror


To all the kids who survived the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s:

Many of us survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank alcohol while they were pregnant. We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing. We would leave home in the morning and play all day as long as we were back home before dark.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround sound or CDs, no cell phones or texting, no personal computers or laptops or iPads, no internet or chat rooms. We had friends and we went outside and found them. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door and talked to them.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past fifty 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.

I am not a huge fan of Jay Leno, but this quote is noteworthy:
"With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

The fun and funny facts in this post were in a much longer message that was forwarded to me. I did not write this but I did make some changes to it and cut out much of the longer version. I felt it was appropriate since I did not know who the author was.

51 comments:

Mr. Stupid said...

This is very true. As time has moved on, people have forgotten what they used to do. With the rise of Technology, everything is lost. Thanks for sharing!:)

Scarlet Blue said...

I'm surprised we survived to tell the tale!...and we were allowed to play conkers...
Sx

Ina in Alaska said...

And we were largely unsupervised but if an adult or person in authority spoke to us we were to listen respectfully with no sassy back talk. I remember the phrase "Just Wait Till Your Dad Gets Home!!" Happy Sunday!!

Gappy said...

How times have changed huh? Luckily I live in a small village where the children often play outside together, but it is also true that my eldest son sometimes arranges to meet up with friends on an on line game - friends that only live five minutes up the road! Any suggestion that he just go to see them in person is met with eye rolling and tutting - I don't understand anything obviously!

Ms. Anthropy said...

GREAT POST!!! Times have certainly changed and not so much for the better.

Brosreview said...

I am not from of this generation but readily agree with the message here.

Eternally Distracted said...

Very, very true... I survived and I think I'm kinda alright!!

anne h said...

Insightful as always, TechnoBabe!
Sometimes it's fun to sit back and what the "fun!"

Brian Miller said...

a great post techno...times were much simpler back then eh? i wonder what this next generation will bring? i wonder what we have robbed them of?

savannah said...

it's sadly too true, sugar! we've somehow forgotten that sometimes failure is the best way to learn, that a sense of personal responsibility for our actions and inaction is part of growing up and that teaching our children the concept of replacement value is more than just about the cost of an item. great reminder, sugar! xoxoxo

DJan said...

The earlier generations came from such a different mindset than the present ones, and your post points out why. We also didn't have awareness of so much that is wrong in the world, either. It was a much more innocent time, to me.

Kulio said...

So true! Our kids don't know anything about handling freedom because we're too busy protecting them, giving them the smallish world of staying inside to watch television (watch other people live) and get stimulated electronically. :-(

Kathy M. said...

I love this post. I can relate, and see the truth in it. Not that I think all the technological and safety advances are bad. Thanks for sharing this.

Jeanie said...

And we actually walked all that way to school, alone, and anyone's parent could and would discipline us if necessary. I have to hope that this generation is producing it's own risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors in it's own way. They are growing up to a world we probably can't even imagine.

LadyFi said...

Wow, it's amazing that any of us survived!

gayle said...

This is so very true!! I tell people this all the time!!

Cinner said...

You know I have read the longer version. I agree it did not harm us, and like you say we got to play....with all the rules and stipulations, my goodness they are going to not get a chance to be kids.

Momma Fargo said...

I love this post and so true! I think it was the lead based paint and garden hose drinking that has made us so smart. LOL

Charlie said...

I really like Savannah's comment. Not that I dislike the others ...

Scarlet Blue says she's surprised we survived to tell the tale. That's because we and our parents were unaware of the "bad" stuff. Now that we know, we're dropping like flies.

What I'm still wondering is if mudpies are good for me or not.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

I love the last part The whole GOD thing is a major push to put kids in private school, even though it will be a MAJOR Struggle,.. I feel it will be worth it!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is a very true post. I watch my stepkids and they have every imaginable technological device and I long for them to climb trees, break bones and feel what it is to just be alive with this body. Great post!

Deidra said...

I was just telling my kids that I used to travel on a mattress in the back seat while my mom held my baby sister in her arms. No one wore a seat belt, and we happened to make it out OK. Funny how things change...

Kristina P. said...

I really liked this post. I think that some things have been lost, and are sad, and other things are being gained, that are amazing.

Sarah said...

Oh what a wonderful post hon...so VERY true! It makes me very sad that I cannot let my kids go playing around the neighborhood..seriously there are very few children to be found anyway. I feel fortunate that at least...lots of afterschoolers come here every day and the kids are expected to play and make their own fun..summers are filled with bug hunting and bubble blowing, tie dye and messy art. There are days though that I wish I was like my mom and said...go play don't bug me...see you for lunch or dinner..and they went out to play and I didn't worry!
We did turn out ok didn't we?
Wonderful post hon...Hugs, Sarah

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've also received this in its longer version. While our generation(s) were subjected to far greater risks in our daily lives, I think that today's children are missing out on the sheer bliss of an unscheduled day in which to entertain themselves, unsupervised, as long as they're home for dinner.

Since we didn't have any of those devises taken for granted by kids today, we had to invent them.

Mama Zen said...

I read this somewhere, but I can't remember where. I really like this.

secret agent woman said...

Hmm. Well, certainly many kids today don't get out nearly enough and eat way too much as they sit on the couch. However, some of the changes (refraining from cigarette and alcohol use while pregnant, say, or wearing seatbelts, paint with out mental retardation-causing lead) are decidedly for the good. Many of us did survive neglect/poor parenting choices, but those who didn't aren't here to talk about it.

As for the Pledge of Allegiance, the phrase "under God" wasn't even added until 1954. The campaign to get the pledge to include adherence to a monotheistic belief system was spear-headed by the Catholic group, Knights of Columbus. And of course, the addition of that phrase is a violation of the first amendment. (Then again, some religious groups, including Quakers, refuse to recite the pledge at all, even without the constitutionally-suspect "God" addition.)

Unknown Mami said...

It's truly amazing how much has changed.

Robert the Skeptic said...

A wonderful skip down "memory lane"... the only thing I remember being afraid of back then was the Ruskies and US with our fingers poised over the nuclear button and the cranky old guy who lived down the street.

Now my neighbors up the street think I'M the cranky old guy and the Ruskies are our allies.

I feel like I grew up during "the wonder years" for sure. Still with all the technological, medical and scientific advances I've seen over the past 60 years, I still sometimes wonder if my grand kids will have a better life than I did?

Joanna Jenkins said...

I so agree. If my mom had to put all five of us kids in carseats and seat belts, we'd have never left the house :-)

Happy Sunday Techno,
jj

Kazzy said...

I was born in the 60s and did all of those things you listed. I have never been obese or gotten a deadly disease. Am I just lucky?

Vicky said...

There is definitely a lot of wisdom in this... my 8 year old said he wanted to give away his legos as he hardly plays with them anymore. Instead its time for the x-box to go on hiatus, and the legos should stay :) There is so much to be said about the way we grew up!!

Ronda Laveen said...

I miss those days of being able to go out and play all day. Hopscotch. Skating. Jumping rope. Riding bikes. Hiking to the woods with a sack lunch. Oh, yeah!

Jana said...

I have an award and a tag for you over at my blog!!!

♥ Braja said...

Great stuff.

And yeah I'm back!! xo

Betty said...

Very true! Great post!

blueviolet said...

I talk about my childhood as you've mentioned here with such fondness. Those truly were the good old days.

The Urban Cowboy said...

I remember playing sports meant going outside...now it's an online virtual activity.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Yup that is how I grew up indeed

waiting for hubby to confirm the 14th

B SQUARED said...

How did we survive?

LL Cool Joe said...

Yes times have changed, in some ways for the better and in other ways for the worse.

Interesting post.

English Rider said...

Yesterday I offered to let a twelve year old boy light the candles on a birthday cake. "I've never used a match" he replied. "No Thanks". I feel urge to go drink out of a hose ASAP.

Cheryl said...

Oh so very true! Brought back a lot of happy memories of running through backyards with friends, swinging, bike riding, playing marbles, etc.,etc.

jill said...

It's sad that you don't see kids playing outdoors much anymore.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

YESSSSSSSS!!!!! I love this!!! I received it via email too some time ago, but I LOVED reading it again!!! Thanks for the HUGE smiles!!! ~Janine XO

-Don said...

I experienced everything listed here, except my mom never drank or smoked... she was just psycho. And, I still survived. Lucky me.

-Don

Maggie said...

Things, situations change as we speak. It is sometimes hard to deal with them but we must. I have to say that some changes have been bad. Technology has saved us but it has also made us drift away from people in a certain way.

Murr Brewster said...

I was born before childproof lids, seat belts, color TV, TV at ALL in our house, and God in the good ol' Pledge of Allegiance. We kept him sequestered in church where he couldn't watch the grown-ups drink and smoke.

I'm not sure the lead-based paint was good fo
I'm not sure the lead-based paint was good fo
I'm not sure the

Julie said...

I love it. I grew up poor, but I had a horse, so I didn't feel poor. My friends and I used to leave the house bright and early and ride for miles to get to our "secret place" in the woods. That freedom was so beautiful. No helmets or cell phones. The rule was that we had to be home by dark. I feel sorry for kids who don't have that opportunity for adventure.

Mary Witzl said...

I really enjoyed that. It's so true: we drank out of garden hoses and ate loads of appalling stuff, but we never stopped climbing trees or racing around, so the calories never had a chance to pile on. And I'll never forget the thrill of rattling around in a station wagon, scrambling from the backseat into the very back and waving to people in other cars out of the back window.

Eileen said...

I've gotten this in 'forwards' a few times too, and I love reading it every time!
It's all so true!