Sunday, August 12, 2007

We were invincible!

My friend "Hippie Tim" sent me this today and I couldn't help but get misty eyed when I thought about growing up in the 60s and 70s and how very different it is today:

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1920's, 30's 40's, 50's, 60's AND 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the bed of a pickup on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take-out food was limited to fish and chips -- no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Red Rooster. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death! We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy fruit tingles and some crackers to blow up frogs with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, 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 when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. 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. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in creek beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms -- WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross buns at Easter time. REALLY!

We were given BB guns and sling shots for our 10th birthdays. We drank milk laced with Strontium 90 from cows that had eaten grass covered in nuclear fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga in 1956.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Mom didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet! Footy had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bullies always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! Our parents got married before they had children and didn't invent stupid names for their kids like "Kiora" and "Blade."

Our generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 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! And 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 our lives for "our own good." And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!


Every word of this is so true, WE ARE HEROES! OH YEAH!

Honestly I miss those days, staying out all day and night until my mom had to come looking for us, out in the dark climbing trees, swimming in a water hole or skating down with no helmets or knee pads to the store 2 miles away to spend 5 cents on a candy necklace (I loved those, they were so glamorous!). We'd skate back and stop every few seconds and eat some candy off our necklaces so by the time we'd get home all we had were sticky, soggy rainbow colored strings hanging from our necks and little bright wet specks on our shirts. We'd scratch ourselves up roller skating, my mom would put mercurochrome ("monkey blood") on our wounds and we'd skate away. My brother always wore a holster with 2 cap guns and ran around shooting at people, then jump on his bike and ride like the wind! Swinging as high as we could and then jump from the swing, never thinking of broken bones, just free! We were fearless and invincible! We were raised to be independent and not depend on anyone else. Most of us got jobs and became responsible adults.

I work for a hospital and we'll have a parent bring their kid in for a runny nose or a scratch on the knee, demanding x-rays and blood tests, and I just want to tell them "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!" It kills me. We hardly ever went to a doctor, only for stitches really, and unless my macho son says he wants to go I don't take him and he's the healthiest person I know. And kids noawadays can't imagine life without cell phones, cable TV and curling irons, and why walk or ride a bike when you can drive them?

We will never see another time as amazing as the 60s and 70s when I was growing up but the memories are forever and I'm so happy to have been there, because


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Anita said...

Thanks for this Beverly! I miss the days of my youth - not a care in the world, just living from moment to moment. Wish my kids could have grown up when we did instead of in the scary world ours has become!

Mauigirl said...

So true. I feel sorry for the overscheduled, pressured kids of today. We were lucky to grow up when we did.