Real Kids Use Matches

Daily Prompt: Childhood Revisited

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

groovy-70s-disco-design-15095600Yes, I certainly did turn out good and somehow I survived without being in touch with my parents every 5 minutes. I am a product of the 70’s, therefore I know how to problem solve on my own.

The 70’s were a great time to be a kid. We played outside from sun up to sun down using dare I say our imaginations. We put on shows, had carnivals, jumped rope, played house, tag, freedom and manhunt for hours on end. We rode our bikes, skated, hula-hooped, hop scotched and bottle capped our days away without a care in the world. We played stick ball, wiffle ball, kick ball and dodge ball without ever being short a player. Kids were everywhere! Most households had 5 or more kids which gave us an abundance of able bodies. We entertained ourselves and lived to talk about it.

I grew up with Watergate and a whole new meaning to drinking Kool-Aide after the Jim Jones fiasco. I was around for the Iran Hostage crisis, gas rationing and the bombing at the MunichWinter Olympics. Bad things were happening, but we weren’t consumed by them…we were busy being kids. 

I had the pleasure of sporting a crocheted poncho, POW bracelets, mood rings, Dr. Sholl’s & clogs. I was introduced to Rock, Disco tumblr_m9rg3p73zf1r68b0fo1_250 & Punk all in one decade. I loved watching Kojak with my dad, Happy Days, Lavern & Shirley & Eight Is Enough with my friends and The Carol Burnet show with my mom and sisters. Without sounding like a fossil, things were simple.

I walked to school, came home for lunch, did homework without help and presented projects that I created from things around the house. There wasn’t an overkill of competitiveness surrounding me. My parents didn’t drive us anywhere …. ever and our weekends weren’t consumed with sitting on a field, they were spent with family. What the hell happened?

I’m not sure how we survived, but we did. We didn’t use seat belts and there were no air bags. Our homes were not child poof in any way, but I never recall anyone being electrocuted. We played in the mud and on rusted swing sets, without ever getting a life threatening illness or injury. Even our toys weren’t safe! We could buy sizzling snakes, fire crackers and cherry bombs at the five & dime and use matches to set them off. No bubble wrap for us…we were real kids.

When I think back at the amount of freedom I had as a kid, I wonder if my parents would be reported to the authorities by today’s standards. Having faith & trust in our kids is unacceptable today. I wouldn’t change a thing about my childhood, it made me who I am today.

As for my own kids, I wish they had the pleasure of experiencing the freedom I had as a child. No worries, no pressures, just kids being kids as they Enjoy the Ride!

37 responses

  1. Amen! I agree wholeheartedly. I love this since I tripped back in time with you!

    1. Thank you, it was fun thinking about all the fun we had as kids.

      1. He was marketing magic for Tootsie Pops…

      2. Indeed he was…he was so cool.

      3. Before Kojak, it was impossible to look cool with a fedora and lollipop…come to think of it, it still is.

  2. Ahhh… ponchos… had a couple, along with bell bottoms and tie dyed shirts and I could go on and on…. I can relate to so much of your post…. love it! DAF

    1. My neighbor, Mrs. Hearn, made my poncho and she made one for my doll too! Our whole street had a poncho thanks to her skills.

  3. Times really have changed…

  4. I love this post. It also is a similar to mine – I loved to Crochet my own things, also don’t forget the Macrame pot holders 🙂 D34

    1. My husband can Macrame…and he isn’t afraid to tell anyone. Plant holders were his thing.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly. I think our generation has done a disservice to our children by helping them not learn to solve their own problems. They will figure it out, though, I’m sure.

    1. They will figure it out….eventually. Today kids are practically in bubble wrap!

      1. I totally agree.

        I remember that the adoption counselor we used when we adopted Jacob giving parenting advice. She said that if your child runs into the street, you should patiently explain to him/her why they shouldn’t do that. I had a question: “You mean before you grab them from in front of an oncoming car, or after they get hit by it?”

        Somehow she still let us adopt Jacob.

      2. Hahahahaha! I witnessed a woman in Target explaining everything she was doing and why she was doing it to a fetus! I wanted to scream “your baby just left the womb and you’re boring her to freaking tears!”

      3. I bet she ends up being a woman who smacks her unruly 5 year old in that very Target. If you start explaining things too soon, don’t you run out of patience before you really need it?

      4. Honestly! With the amount of talking this woman did, she will be burnt out by the time the kid is 2!

  6. I’m a little older than you, so I also remember the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy being shot, tye die clothes & long jean skirts made out of jeans. I was a young adult for most of the 70’s so I danced the nights away in the discos & bars until my daughter was born in 1981.
    I also regret my kids never had the chance to play outside like we did.

    1. I remember my 7th grade teacher wore a long jean skirt…she was the coolest thing that school ever saw.

      It is sad for our kids….

  7. Oh talk about a flashback.. we experienced so many of the same things.. Dr Sholls..Goodness I begged my mom for a pair and she bought me the knock-off brand .. I’m still irritated about that 😉

    1. Hahaha! Remember when your foot would slip off the back of those babies….ouch!

      1. free penny press

        haha..since mine were the el cheapos, they were hollow and make this “thunk-thunk” noise whenever I walked..

  8. Your childhood sounds amazing!

  9. I grew up in the 80s, but enjoyed many of the same freedoms. I’m a bit over protective of my children and don’t give them the same leniency because I know what I did with mine.

  10. Great post!! I remember playing “whatever ball we had” or “hide and go seek” out in the yard/ street after Daylight Savings Time with ten to twenty kids in the neighborhood. We would play until 9 pm. As I became a teenager in the early 1970’s, we were exposed to the interesting fashion statements of the 70’s (what were we thinking?) Wedge shoes, bell bottom jeans which ballooned out beneath the knees, and leisure suits. The girls in my high school loved “KC in the Sunshine Band.” I was more of rock and roller (Dooby Brothers, Led Zeppelin, etc.), but also liked “The Spinners” (Games People Play) and The Commodores. Also, with one TV, like you we watched as a family. Thanks for the memories, BTG

  11. Love this post. Brings me back to my childhood – kick the can, sliding across “frozen” lakes (I did get yelled at for that when I let it slip), riding a bicycle with no hands and no helmet, jumping off cliffs into a lake (not a frozen one to my credit), drinking water from a garden hose. I was outside all day nearly everyday in the Summer and on weekends, unsupervised with other kids doing whatever I pleased most of the time. And I too survived (somehow) and turned out ok. My children have not had quite the freedom I had, but we didn’t micro-manage them and pretty much have always trusted that they had the good sense not to jump off a cliff.

  12. I’m older than you so my memories stem from where I was when Kennedy was shot…I Love Lucy, The Million Dollar Movie…day trips to Palisades Park. I remember I had a United States Coast Guard over sized sweatshirt that I wore over knee length jeans with penny loafers all year round. In the summer I would have to hide the sweatshirt from my mother who said I looked crazy wearing it in the heat. I thought I was chic and stunning. I’ll always be sorry I never had kids…nice writing Madam.

  13. That’s what I’m talking about!

  14. I love this post! Even the title is perfect. And your life as a kid was as life should be for all kids – fearless and fun, Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  15. Great trip down memory lane. Thanks for the great post.

  16. Just great. Good walk back through time.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Catherine. Those were the good ole days!

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