How did we survive?

  1. Some may be too young to remember life like this, but I don't.


    Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as
    we have.
    As children we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air
    bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special
    Our baby cribs were painted with bright colored lead based
    paint. We often chewed on the crib, ingesting the paint.

    We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or
    cabinets, and
    when we rode our bikes we had no helmets. We drank water from
    the garden hose and not from a bottle. 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. We played dodge ball and sometimes the
    ball would really hurt. We played with toy guns, cowboys and Indians,
    army, cops and robbers, and used our fingers to simulate guns when the
    toy ones or the BB gun was not available. We ate cupcakes, bread and
    butter, and drank sugar soda, but we were never over weight; we were always
    outside playing. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the
    team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment. Some
    students weren't as smart as others or didn't work hard so they failed a
    grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. That generation
    produced some of the greatest risk-takers and problem solvers. We had the
    freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it

    Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake nstead of a
    pristine pool (talk about boring), the term cell phone would
    have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

    We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a
    pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training
    athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I
    can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they
    tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option... even
    for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

    Every year, someone taught the whole school a lesson by running
    in the halls with leather soles on linoleum tile and hitting the wet
    spot. How much better off would we be today if we only knew we could have
    sued the school system. Speaking of school, we all said prayers and the
    pledge (amazing we aren't all brain dead from that), and staying in
    detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention for about
    the next two weeks. We must have had horribly damaged psyches. Schools
    didn't offer 14 year olds an abortion or condoms (we wouldn't have known what
    either was anyway) but they did give us a couple of baby aspirin and
    cough syrup if we started getting the sniffles. What an archaic health
    system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

    I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I
    was allowed to be proud of myself. I just can't recall how bored we were
    without computers, PlayStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable
    stations. I must be repressing that memory as I try to rationalize through
    the denial of the dangers could have befallen us as we trekked off each day
    about a mile down the road to some guy's vacant 20, built forts out of
    branches and pieces of plywood, made trails, and fought over who got to
    be the Lone Ranger.

    What was that property owner thinking, letting us play on that
    lot. He should have been locked up for not putting up a fence around the
    property, complete with a self-closing gate and an infrared intruder
    alarm. Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I
    got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

    We played king of the hill on piles of gravel left on vacant
    construction sites and when we got hurt, mom pulled out the 48 cent bottle
    of mercurochrome and then we got butt-whooped. Now it's a trip
    to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of
    antibiotics and then mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for
    leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

    We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we
    did, we got butt-whooped (physical abuse) there too... and then we got
    butt-whooped again when we got home.

    Mom invited the door to door salesman inside for coffee, kids
    choked down the dust from the gravel driveway while playing with Tonka
    trucks (remember why Tonka trucks were made tough... it wasn't so that
    they could take the rough berber in the family room), and Dad drove a car
    with leaded gas.

    Our music had to be left inside when we went out to play and I
    am sure that I nearly exhausted my imagination a couple of times when we
    went on two week vacations. I should probably sue the folks now for the
    danger they put us in when we all slept in campgrounds in the family
    Summers were spent behind the push lawnmower and I didn't even know that
    mowers came with motors until I was 13 and we got one without an
    automatic blade-stop or an auto-drive. How sick were my parents?

    Of course my parents weren't the only psychos. I recall Donny
    Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front
    stoop just before he fell off. Little did his mom know that she could have
    owned our house. Instead she pick him up and swatted him for being such a
    goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

    To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told
    that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have
    know that we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes?
    We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even
    notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

    How did we survive
  2. Visit rncountry profile page

    About rncountry

    Joined: Jun '00; Posts: 1,017; Likes: 32


  3. by   tiger
    EXCELLENT! and so true.:chuckle
  4. by   l.rae
    sounds like my neighborhood/childhood........LR
  5. by   LasVegasRN
    This almost makes me want to cry.

    What happened to us??? Where did it all go wrong?
  6. by   Kayzee
    Great post. Brings back alot of memories.
  7. by   CANRN
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN
    This almost makes me want to cry.

    What happened to us??? Where did it all go wrong?
    I got a little weapy myself. What I wouldn't give to just go back to those times for just one day. Thanks for the memories

  8. by   Vsummer1
    It was population control? Sorry... I ask the same question all the time.. how did I make it to adulthood???!!

    I remember cherry drops from the neighbors swing set. I fell on my head and was lucky not to break my neck. I didn't DARE tell my parents about my stupidity though, I would have been punished for it!

  9. by   rncountry
    You know Vegas, I think when we quit letting our kids be kids. We used to have a 1969 Volkswagon stationwagon. My mom would pile the neighborhood kids in that wagon and we would go off to the beach, real lake you know. We were stuffed in so tight with so many kids that if we would have hit something we probably wouldn't have gone anywhere because there was no empty space to go to.
    Then there were the days my friends and I would go to the lumber yard just down the street from my grandparents house. We used the scrapwood to make forts, right in the back. Oh and we used to play in the coal piles that had been there for years from when the train still ran through town, and used coal for fuel. Must have been there for 20 years and no one got rid of it. One of the first things I noticed was gone when I moved back home after 10 years of being gone.
    Also used to take the big cardboard boxes from refrigerators from the appliance store and haul them into the alley beside the place and use them as clubhouses. We would ride our bikes around town for hours on end, and yes we had better be home when the streetlights came on. No one did things they shouldn't because not only would the lady down the road tell your parents, she would be just as likely to come out and whoop your hind end herself, and my mom would have expected her to.
    I did get my butt busted for playing in the coal piles. But Lord, were they hard to stay off of! They just begged to be climbed! Oh, the days of just being able to be a kid.
    My kids do have some of these things, I think because my little town hasn't changed a lot from when I was a kid. Still play kick the can in the dark. Couple years ago we were playing and my husband was chasing one of the kids, he forgot about a clothsline that was here when we moved in and managed to clothsline himself. He went down like a rock. I stood there and laughed so hard I nearly peed myself, I'm thinking he's moaning so I know he is still breathing! We still laugh about it now because it reminds of us of the times we were kids and did things like that. AAHH, the good ole days!
  10. by   Jenny P
    RNcountry, this was my childhood (only we played "king of the hill" on a pile of loose lumber)! Did you write this or someone else? May I send it to some people?

    Thanks for the memories!
  11. by   rncountry
    I got this from someone that I found while doing genealogy on my dad's side of the family. Come to find out we are related, and have continued to correspond regularly.
    By all means send it on.
  12. by   Jenny P
    Thanks. I've just GOT to send it to my sibs!
  13. by   Robin61970
    Wonderful and oh so true!!!!! I wish my children could have grown up the way I did....
  14. by   caroladybelle
    We walked to school by ourselves and it was safe.

    We got vaccinations for smallpox and no one required a permission slip for it.

    Halloween was the coolest, funnest holiday of the year. And Mama made the costumes not WalMart.

    My parents gave me small toddies to cure me of sleepwalking - with the MDs encouragement.

    I didn't have to "compete" to get into the "best" class or get the "best" teacher - we took what we were given and did with [it what we could and it had to be good enough.

    My Daddy was military (and very disfunctional) and would be away for over 2 years at a time - overseas - and yet I managed to grow up and not become a serial murderer.

    During the summer, we played and not that educational crap and we enjoyed life, instead of doing kinderclasses and camp to get us ahead of the Jones.

    Mama and Daddy didn't threaten to sue if we did poorly, no one talked about self esteem, and if you weren't first up to bat it was because you were not very good and you just had to deal with it and suck it up.

    We are so competetive with others and with how we deal with our kids, it's wonder that they all don't have high blood pressure and ulcers.

    Can't they just be let to be kids.