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When I was a kid . . .

MaggieD

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?
 

GottaGo

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You mean back when you had to use your imagination (oh, horrors!) to make up games and create things like your fort in the shrubs.

When school yard fights involved a scraped knee and grass stains rather than suspensions and lawsuits?
When 'going outside to play' mean balls and bikes and jump ropes, sidewalk chalk and the wonderful cardboard boxes, not things that used batteries and had you sitting for hours on end.

Today it seems they are taught what to think, what to imagine, not how to.
 

Gardener

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That sure takes me back.

I can still remember being a kid huddled around the fire as the men headed out for the hunt. Once they were gone, I liked to explore the cave searching for bits of broken flint or discarded bits of hematite, ochre and charcoal. I always knew when I was getting close to the magic places, then. I always felt safe, and nobody cared where I wandered unless I got too close to the places I shouldn't go -- not until I was of proper age and having apprenticed for it.

What seems most vivid to me are the smells. Maybe my senses were just greater, then, but the sour musk of the freshly skinned mammoth hide takes me back like no other........
 

CRUE CAB

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?
At 4 we moved to Arcola Virginia. Nothing but a wide spot in the road 30 miles or so from Fairfax.
Trees, foot hills, goats, cats, dogs, old cars, caverns, Civil war battlefields, we lived in a converted barn.
As I got alittle older, my dad would let me run the riding mower and steer his truck. From his lap of course.
We would explor the woods for hours and no one missed us, no one was worried sick the moment we were out of sight. In fact it was "go, get out of the house". But then again there was no XBox, Play station, 5000 tv channels, central AC like kids have now.
Then moved to Florida, the beach, surfing, sports, fishing, paddleing around on the Indian River to the spoil islands.
Life was grand.
 

sawyerloggingon

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I remember Halloween and the neighborhood streets filled with nothing but kids unlike nowadays where there are more adults than kids and half the time the adults come right to the door with their kid.
 

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Truth be told I too did not hang out as much as my dad did. He would kick me out to play off the computers I had. But now that I kick my kids out to play they come back and tell me that there is no one outside to play with. They all now get locked in homes and play video games instead.

The media is telling the youth what to imagine indeed. Even imagination is no longer limitless.

This is so wrong! The media can never make up for individual interpretations of chaos that we benefited from before! People may only end up with same issues, perceptions, and concerns that the media tells them in bias with this. Masses may miss a completely random development elsewhere!
 

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Once they were gone, I liked to explore the cave searching for bits of broken flint or discarded bits of hematite, ochre and charcoal.



.

Heck, I was still doing that just a few years ago.
 

Andalublue

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?

We'd do almost the same when we were kids, but we were lucky in growing up in the countryside where no one even appeared to have heard the word 'paedophile'. My cousins who still live back in the village, are much more paranoid about stranger danger even though there is no evidence that there is a problem. That's a bit sad.

Kids here in rural Spain seem to live the kind of childhood that we enjoyed 40 years ago. That's a good thing.
 

Lutherf

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Unless it was full on storming we were outside.

It was about a mile and a half walk to school and it was my job to get there every day since 1st grade for sure and maybe kindergarten. I'd also walk back for lunch and every once in a while I could tell from more than a bock away that mom had made spaghetti.

Al's Corner Store was two blocks away and you could get a ton of stuff for a quarter. Popsicles were a nickle, Dreamsicle's were a dime, all kinds of candy and gum was a penny. Roy's Corner Store was the other end of the street and a couple of miles walk but he had comic books and balsa wood airplanes.

As long as we let someone know where we were we could go down to the train tracks a couple of blocks away and pick blackberries or flatten pennies. The sheer tonnage of spikes and plates that we collected and which ended up stashed in the garage was probably enough to build a battleship.

A block over there was a house that had burned down and all that was left was the basement and half a center beam. There was all kinds of trash like busted up stoves, bicycle parts, etc. in the hole and we weren't supposed to touch anything but that didn't stop us from walking out on the beam like some high wire artist. Every once in a while someone would fall but we'd haul them out and patch up the cuts so mom wouldn't find out.

Across from the burned out house was a creek. We'd catch tadpoles and toads there. We didn't do much with the tadpoles but we'd take the toads and toss them up over the electric lines.....it was kind of a test to see how long they'd live. Sometimes we'd follow the creek down to "Secret Pond" and catch turtles.
 

joG

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?

I really do not know, what it was like to be a child then. Nor do I have any idea, what it is like to be a child now.

But in essence my childhood was very much like your's must have been. I loved it very much.
 

FederalRepublic

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That sure takes me back.

I can still remember being a kid huddled around the fire as the men headed out for the hunt. Once they were gone, I liked to explore the cave searching for bits of broken flint or discarded bits of hematite, ochre and charcoal. I always knew when I was getting close to the magic places, then. I always felt safe, and nobody cared where I wandered unless I got too close to the places I shouldn't go -- not until I was of proper age and having apprenticed for it.

What seems most vivid to me are the smells. Maybe my senses were just greater, then, but the sour musk of the freshly skinned mammoth hide takes me back like no other........

I remember as a kid looking at skinned racoons, smelling them, asking my dad why he was taking their clothes off. That's not a joke.
 

Lutherf

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I remember as a kid looking at skinned racoons, smelling them, asking my dad why he was taking their clothes off. That's not a joke.

Lol!!

I remember my dad taking the back off of the radio to explain to me how the voices got in there without people.
 

HonestJoe

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When I was a lad, our spectacles had clear lenses or nothing! None of this fancy rose-tinting you get these days.
 

Aunt Spiker

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?

Eh - what happened to me?

I had two older children who were autistic and - when just outside in our own back yard - they would get bloody noses, concussions - and would never be able to tell me what happened, or sort out how to avoid the same injury in the future.

They couldn't be left alone (outside to play, etc) and be trusted to follow the rules, find their way home - do anything, really.

So when I had a child who wasn't autistic, I didn't know how to give her a normal childhood while having to be a hover mother for the older two. . .it took a while but we got past that a bit. Now, I take her to her friends houses all the time, and my older kids now do normal kid stuff like hanging out with their friends, too. . . it just took them a lot longer to sort out how to be on their own.

As far as having other people watch my children indefinitely - no - I feel guilty when I've done that, both to my kids and to the other person who has to deal with my kid's dramas, which are usually horrors like the other day when my son had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance due to school injury.

Per the creativity - our four kids play together like I did with my kids when I was little and lived in a suburb. Granted, now, we live in the country and there's quite a ways to hike to get to the nearest friends house (I forget how much of a difference it makes to have a suburb setting around you).

The reason I have a hard time letting them go that distance alone isn't the people, or even cars on the road - but wild animals. Feral dogs and coyotes. During the summer months - it's the heat. Kids can suffer from heat exhaustion and dehydration all too easily. I'm a country-transplant from the city. I don't know how to relax enough to let them hike a mile up the street.
 
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lizzie

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Lol!!

I remember my dad taking the back off of the radio to explain to me how the voices got in there without people.

Haha- that just sparked a great old memory of mine. I used to think the the TV had little people inside it. :lol:
 

Fisher

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depends on where you live. In my area of Whoville, kids still play outside and all that, but they have less free reign than when I was a kid. I own a bunch of woods behind my house. Kids still explore, make bike paths, build "forts", etc in them. A few adults make use of them too. I don't care if people dump yard waste into them or dig out small tress to transplant and the like. There are a few people I have let cut dead and downed trees up for firewood. As long as nobody sets them on fire, I really don't care what they do.
 

lizzie

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I have many good memories of my childhood. My favorites are probably from when I was age 6-13. We lived in this old rental house in a rural area, with gravel roads and only one other house that we could see from ours. My sisters and I used to have great fun riding our bicycles, looking for discarded soda bottles, and we could take them up to the corner gas station and trade them in for a nickel. We also lived in a low-lying area, and when the spring rains would come, part of the road would flood over, and we would take strings with little bits of bacon tied to them, and drop them down into the mud to catch crawdads. Oh, for the simple life with its simple pleasures. I miss it.
 

MaggieD

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I have many good memories of my childhood. My favorites are probably from when I was age 6-13. We lived in this old rental house in a rural area, with gravel roads and only one other house that we could see from ours. My sisters and I used to have great fun riding our bicycles, looking for discarded soda bottles, and we could take them up to the corner gas station and trade them in for a nickel. We also lived in a low-lying area, and when the spring rains would come, part of the road would flood over, and we would take strings with little bits of bacon tied to them, and drop them down into the mud to catch crawdads. Oh, for the simple life with its simple pleasures. I miss it.

Crawdaddies!!! Now there's!!! a memory! Lordy, no crawdad within 10 miles was safe when I visited my grandparents in Coal Country Kentucky. Poor things.
 

EdwinWillers

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I remember spending all day in the foothills with my brother, climbing rocks without ropes, a "cave" high up on one we called our own fortress.
I remember spending days at the creek near our house, building dams, hunting crawfish, chasing snakes
I remember playing at night with all the neighborhood kids, hide-and-seek, "burp the baby" (mischievous game of knock on the door and run & hide)
I remember riding my bicycle to school alone, leaving it unlocked and never once stolen
I remember walking to grade school with my younger brother and sister, unescorted, unafraid
 

CRUE CAB

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Haha- that just sparked a great old memory of mine. I used to think the the TV had little people inside it. :lol:
I used to think there were little people in the toll booth change things.
I wondered who counted all the coins. LOL
 

Diogenes

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That sure takes me back.

I can still remember being a kid huddled around the fire as the men headed out for the hunt. Once they were gone, I liked to explore the cave searching for bits of broken flint or discarded bits of hematite, ochre and charcoal. I always knew when I was getting close to the magic places, then. I always felt safe, and nobody cared where I wandered unless I got too close to the places I shouldn't go -- not until I was of proper age and having apprenticed for it.

What seems most vivid to me are the smells. Maybe my senses were just greater, then, but the sour musk of the freshly skinned mammoth hide takes me back like no other........

That's the life I remember!! :)
 

CanadaJohn

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?

I agree with you Maggie - I'd also say that perversion was quite taboo back in the day and today, in most forms of media we're bombarded with, perversion seems to be a big seller. To me, that says people feel more free to act on their perversions now and our children are suffering because of it. The Miley Cyrus's of the world, as an example, do nothing to enhance the protection of innocent young girls from perverts who feed on that kind of thing.
 

opendebate

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My mom worked, so every summer, my dad would drop me off early in the morning at my mom's friend's house where I'd spend the day -- probably up until I was 11 years old.

I'd go back to sleep when he dropped me off . . . and when I woke up, I'd have Cheerios for breakfast, and then "Aunt Winnie" would make me a thermos of Kool-Aid, a PB&J sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie and off to the park I'd go for the day.

The park was a block from the house. It had a kiddie pool, a huge sandbox, swings, teeter-totters, jungle gyms a pushy-thingie we called a merry-go-round . . .

And no perverts.

Clusters of untrimmed bushes became secret forts, jungle gyms became war zones, the merry-go-round took us to far-away places, kids made new friends every day, learned to get along, had active imaginations. I think times were better then.

Today, if moms have the time, their kids are organized into everything. Soccer, baseball, football, peewee ****. Where's playtime today? Where does a kid learn to use his imagination and entertain himself?

I think times were better then. What do you think?

Awww, Mayberry. I rode my horse when I was a kid, all day every day and when I wasn't doing that I had to "create" other things to do or just explore. I think simple lives are the best lives.

Seems like technology and the ridiculous library of electric toys we have to chose from distracts kids from exploring themselves and building deep friendships IMO. When my kids were young I saw their friends lives so "booked" with organized events it was like they needed a personal assistant, usually their moms, to keep up. They had expensive phones and $100 shoes. It just seemed so unhealthy. I intentionally bought cloths that were priced sanely and explained to them why, limited time on TV and with electronics. We lived in a neighborhood that was not wealthy at all, so many of the neighborhood kids just couldn't afford such things. Which was great. There were lot's of boys so my son and his little sister would get together with the other kids in the neighborhood and hunt crawdads in the stream close-by, ride bikes, climb trees, ride skateboards and then they would all come to my house for lunch. The highlight was when the hill behind the house across the street would get grassy and they could slide down it on cardboard. The boys taught my daughter how to ride a bike and watched after her. It was great. They remember it very fondly. I have to agree that a simple life serves us best when we are kids.

So, I guess that means I find myself agreeing with you again MaggieD.
 

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I remember spending all day in the foothills with my brother, climbing rocks without ropes, a "cave" high up on one we called our own fortress.
I remember spending days at the creek near our house, building dams, hunting crawfish, chasing snakes
I remember playing at night with all the neighborhood kids, hide-and-seek, "burp the baby" (mischievous game of knock on the door and run & hide)
I remember riding my bicycle to school alone, leaving it unlocked and never once stolen
I remember walking to grade school with my younger brother and sister, unescorted, unafraid

We were the lucky ones, IMO. :thumbs: I remember my sister and I catching a bus in front of our house when I was about seven years old, transferring downtown to another bus, which took us to the local amusement park! We spent almost the entire day there, happily riding all the roller coasters, ferris wheels, etc, all for one entrance fee!. And we used to go sled-riding till late at night with all the neighborhood kids, too, and no one worried! Today I don't feel comfortable letting my younger relatives out of my sight for an instant, no matter where we go! What happened? Sad! :sigh:
 
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