Sometimes I’m amazed at the memories and hilarity.
How oddly stark the contrast between the times I grew up in and of my childhood and how I perceive that I’m parenting my children.
I don’t think we notice at the time but looking back, your parents were probably as haphazard as mine.
I know it’s a different day and time we live in today and it WAS the 70’s and 80’s…because GREED and HAIR and J.R. Ewing….but seriously? I would walk or ride bikes all over the neighborhood and my parents never once told me to watch out for the crazy teenager driving the gold LTD or the pedophile 2 blocks over and six doors down.
OH YEAH. No internet to stalk their whereabouts.
I crack up at some things in my childhood and wonder what in the world my parents (all college educated!) were thinking. I recently did a Facebook live sharing about a childhood memory of using straws as pretend cigarettes.
My parents did not intervene at all! PARTY! I did not grow up to be a smoker but I’m thinking how I would respond to my kids puffing on a fake stogie? LOL! I am sure I would stop and give them a full-on discourse on the dangers of secondhand smoke and pre-cancerous lesions. I did used to tell Nana (my stepmom) about those damn lesions.
So….here’s some insight into my pre-Sparkle Mama days and it might help you understand where I came from and why I am the way I am……
If you’ve read Aesop’s fable about the City Mouse and Country Mouse….that was me. I was both of them.
Identity issues? Probably.
Ok, but let’s be real, who in the 80’s didn’t have some form of identity issue?
Back to the childhood….each place definitely had it’s own distinct things going on and I (mostly) loved them all except for any housework, chores, and the impending arrival of my brother when I was 10.
(Lucky for him, that changed the second I laid eyes on him in the hospital but it was a little touch-and-go before that moment)
I primarily lived as the City Mouse with my mom during the week but every other weekend, Country Mouse showed up and rode horses, got dirty, hung out with some colorful characters, and rode around on a badass riding lawn mower……Jesus, bless it…..no, I wasn’t actually mowing. Even more disturbing.
Young Country Mouse in Natural Habitat
In town with Mom, it was neighborhood kids, church, and NO early model riding lawn mowers.
And not much alcohol….unlike Country Mouse and all the colorful characters.
(Here I talk about the effect that my dad’s ‘Burn the Ships’ decision concerning alcohol impacted our lives)
BLESS my permed hair and confused identity.
It changed a lot growing up depending on where I was and who I was with. I was a chameleon and I didn’t ruffle feathers. As you can assume due to divorce and remarries, I had plenty of parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles keeping close watch over me. I didn’t fail at much and I was truly rewarded with plenty of love and attention.
So my mom worked and I had a key to let myself in every day after school….I got off the bus, walked a good 1/2 mile home, and then let myself in and locked the door.
Probably ate Poptarts and red Kool-aid.
I can’t even let my own child (8 years old!) walk 3 blocks home from school! YOU KNOW every mom you know probably would have hard-core judged my mom for this today…..but not in the 80’s! lol
I can’t recall my parents ever expressing their worry about my safety? They just didn’t.
Now, I can’t let my junior high kid spend the night away without freaking my head and telling him multiple times to “scream if anyone tries to touch you inappropriately while you sleep!”
OH MY GOSH.
I cringe just reading this.
My parents never told me that and if they had, I would have probably looked at them with disgust and total disbelief for talking about weird stuff.
SO, I’m wondering. Are you more or less fearful and cautious than your parents?
I think I’m going to work on being less fearful and more empowering.
As the saying goes, “deep roots and strong wings”……..here’s to ya!!