Seemingly every day I am asked something about when I was a kid. My kids seem to think that we didn’t have anything, or do anything.
This morning I was asked if I had ABCMouse to play when I was a kid. Well the answer to that is very simple. NO, but then the rest of the questions come out. They are hard to explain sometimes, because they seem to think that I had a bad childhood without all of the things they have now.
When I was young I didn’t have a computer.
Unless we went to visit my great-grandfather and he would let me type on his Commodore 64.
When I was young, I didn’t have a cell phone.
I had a house phone. When I tell my kids I had a house phone they look at me like I am dumb, as we have never had one since they have been born.
When I was young, I didn’t have an iPod.
I had a Walkman, and they will never know the pain of falling with your Walkman in your pocket and skipping your favorite CD. Then when I mentioned a CD they asked what that was. I have to admit I facepalmed and had to go dig one out of the garage. WIth a follow-up conversation about how when you wanted one song, you had to purchase all of the songs.
When I was young, I didn’t have a DVR to record my favorite cartoons.If there was a show I wanted to record I had to set up the VCR very carefully (to which I got blank stares) and then hope that I wasn’t recording over something else that was important. Ya know like a wedding video.
When I was young, I only got new clothes once a year, not when I saw something cute in the store. This is something that my kids can’t imagine, because they are almost always getting something cute when it’s on sale or just when it’s too perfect to pass up.
Since I only got new clothes once a year and I had to make them last all year. So after lots of fashion faux pas I learned how to pick things that would work with lots of outfits and hopefully last the whole year through. Which mostly consisted of some heavy-duty jeans and a pair of boots and some tennis shoes. (I still have some of my clothes and shoes from highschool that I wear on occasion)
When I was young we didn’t get an option when it came to food.
Not that I give my kids a real option, but there were no Pop-tarts, Nutrigrain bars, etc for breakfast. I always ate breakfast at school, because it was inexpensive for my family. We also never were able to buy name brand anything food wise. It was all generic and I never knew the difference. I remember being small and eating dinner then watching my dad eat a fried egg sandwich because that was what we had.
When I when I was young, we never had new cars.
My kids don’t know what it’s like to have to worry about if the car will start to take them to school. I was fortunate to have a mechanic for a dad so things always worked for the most part, but I have to admit that there were sometimes that I was embarrassed to be picked up and dropped off from school. As I have gotten older I have realized that my dad was doing the absolute best that he could do for his family and I respect his so much for all of his sacrifices.
Which usually prompts something to the effect of if you didn’t have all those things what did you have? What did you do? It seems like things were so different from they are now. I did things that would scare the hell out of me if my kids were doing them.
When I was young, I would run around in the woods all alone, I would go fishing randomly, ride my bike around the neighborhood and go to my friends houses on a whim. I remember having to check in at certain points but having kids that are fairly young it scares the hell out of me. Just the thought of having the kids walk to school just down the street eventually stresses me out.
The world is a different place than it was 20 years ago, and I know that my father probably had the same fears that I have because when I was growing up the world was different from when he was young.
There are always questions that my kids have for me that I think are silly questions like
Did you have electricity? The answer to that is not always. As well as many other questions that have come around and I am sure that more will come from day-to-day.
I do my best to answer them as truthfully as possible, but there are questions about being little that I know I will struggle to answer. My only goal in life is to offer my children some of the best experiences that I had growing up but to give them new memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives, as well as helping them to become awesome productive members of society. The road is bumpy and life will never be perfect, but I take solace in that as long as I am living and breathing The Mister and I will be here for them always and forever.