My mother sent me a copy of a posting put on Facebook by a gal named Christy Dickson that my sister and I were friends with back in the elementary and junior high years growing up in Washington. Here is her post:
“I grew up in a little town…On Sundays you didn’t ask if you were going to church you got ready and went …It was during a time, when everyone treated each other like Family. We went outside to play, we got dirty…. We bought chips & candy from the corner store. We played Red Light, Green Light, Kick the Can, Simon Says, Hide and Seek, Dodge Ball, Red Rover, Baseball, Softball and Football. We could ride our bikes to the store, or the park, or down a country road and stay all day. We even swam in the pond or lake when we had the chance. We ate beans & hot dogs, mac and cheese & peanut butter sandwiches. We walked or rode a bike everywhere and never worried about safety. We never thought to lock our windows or doors at night. We had chores to do around the house, we helped clean off the table after a meal and ate our meals as a family at a table together. We weren’t AFRAID OF ANYTHING, ‘cept our parents. If you fell down you would just get back up. We challenged each other everywhere…King of the hill. If someone had a fight, that’s what it was…a fight. Kids weren’t afraid of fake guns when I grew up. Real guns were just a part of life and we respected them as well as our parents, our teachers, the American flag, the principal AND God. We said the Pledge of Allegiance every time we went to school. We left our houses as soon as we could in the morning and right after school till our neighbors would yell out for their children as a reminder to get in the house for the night. If one kid was called for dinner then we all knew to go home. We watched our mouths around our elders because we knew If we DISRESPECTED any adult there would be a price to pay and we had manners and respect otherwise someone else’s parents put you in your place. I would not trade anything for the childhood we had, for we had enough and we had love and all that made us the adults we are today.”
Man her post brought back so many memories of what it was like as a kid growing up. Everything she said was spot on. As I read her post I could remember all of those times like they were yesterday. And I couldn’t help but think that as many good things as have come about over the years with technology and innovation and progress, there are also a lot of bad things that have come about as well.
For example, families used to eat dinner together every night no matter what. And when we ate together we didn’t answer phone calls during dinner because it was considered sacred family time to talk about our day and to discuss current events and even religion or politics. We knew what was happening in each other’s lives because we caught up every night over that dinner table.
We also didn’t get buried in emails and spending time on the internet because we didn’t have those back then. Nothing was so time sensitive that it couldn’t wait for a land line telephone call or a hand-written letter to come in the mail. And yet we survived everything just fine… There was so much less to worry about back then because you had so much less information coming at you all the time.
I miss those simpler times when we talked to each other and when we played outside for hours on end without a care in the world except for when it was going to get dark and we had to go home and have dinner. It was glorious to grow up like that.
With all the great things that technology brings to our lives we certainly could stand to tone it down once in a while so we can bond with those we love and enjoy the world around us. Maybe we could all make a goal to try doing that a little more often in our lives…
~Amy Rees Anderson