Friday, 2 March 2007

Claire Norris, from our brilliant Travellers Education Service, sent me this after the wonderful Long Service Awards event last night...

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a tin, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, 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 back of a van - loose - was always great fun.

We drank water from the garden hosepipe and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cakes, white bread and real butter and drank pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......

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. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem . 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 cell phones, no text messaging, 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 played with worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out any eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Local teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 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!

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?

PS -The BIG type is because your eyes are shot at your age


Oaf said...

This puts things into perspective.
Nowadays, we tend to wrap children in cotton wool and remove any element of risk in their lives.
This leads to children being closeted away in bedrooms with computers and strangely deformed thumbs caused by over texting.
As a young oaf, I tended to go out on my bike or playing cricket and football with my mates.
I'm not saying that children should be exposed to risk - far from it (and I recall the highly regretable incident of the rope swing and greenhousde at this stage), but they learn from their mistakes as we do

Not that we always learn mind you. Tonight I will probably enjoy some of my favourite tipple (i.e beer) and wake up with a certain jaded feeling tomorrow morning.
I never seem to learn this lesson despite years of practice.

htsal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
htsal said...

Bet you didn't cycle around with [ so as not to get deleted ] unmentionable things hanging from each handlebar. Ah those were the days.

set said...

I love that post. We live in the best and worst of times and that warm reflection on the past is very cautionary.

Maybe we can all do something to resurrect some of the best things from the time this land forgot. Visit my blog for my contribution.

(Keep those greenhouse scars hidden Oaf, lest someone suggests imposing a green tax on them and retrospectively fines you - enjoy the beer)