Remember when you couldn’t wait to grow up? My parents and grandparents always said there was plenty of time for that, and were they right… Life has a funny way of working out. I now find myself looking back on those childhood memories, wondering what the big rush was, but that seems to be the ‘norm’ as we age. When my grandparents and parents retired they all found themselves reminiscing about their days when they were kids… so, while listening to their stories I couldn’t help but think “Oh my gosh no! Glad I wasn’t born then.” So here I am…thinking just like they did, reminiscing about my own childhood past.
Growing up in the 70’s was great and I wouldn’t have changed any part of it for the world. It was a time when kids played outside with neighbors and friends; no matter what the weather was, we were resilient. My earlier years were in the Midwest, and if our town got 10 plus inches of snow… we still went to school and of course… we walked; school was rarely cancelled. Parents talked to each other and everyone else; there were no cell phones or other devices to take the attention away from their children, or other family members and friends. Frequently on weekends we would visit our grandparents and spend time together as a family, we even visited our aunts and uncles on occasion. I enjoyed all those visits and cherish every memory. Today, kids and parents don’t talk as much as we or our elders did, nor do parents make their children visit their grandparents anymore, unless possible caregiving is involved. Recently while talking with a neighbor, I learned that her daughter and grandchildren rarely visited and I thought it was sad. She told me that the kids have activities and their parents are always busy working or something else is going on. This seems about right. My own children usually tell me how busy they are, but my wish is that they’d all see family a bit more often than they do. No matter how far back we go in time, people were always busy raising families, working and…or playing… the difference lies in the generations; what it means to them and what their priorities are.
You can see families everywhere today with their heads buried down in their devices no matter where you are. We didn’t have computers or cell phones growing up and I’m so glad we did not. These devices were supposed to make life easier and more convenient… sadly it comes with a price of sorts.
I am grateful for my childhood days and I believe that many of my friends will probably feel the same way. It was a time where family always seemed to be able to get together, regardless of busy lives. Being too busy for someone you love wasn’t an option…it’s how we were raised and what we were taught. We can try and instill the same values to our children today, but the challenges are great; just try to take a cell phone from them for a period of time (this includes adults), try it for a holiday and use a real camera…”you catch my drift.” I loved the eras in which we grew up, just as my parents did and theirs did…the beat goes on. I love my family. Visions of loved ones past will enter my dreams once in a while, giving me those heartfelt feelings of love, only wishing they were all still here. Hold those memories close, and the next time you think of someone dear to you…remember, today is present… but tomorrow it (the day) will be past; embrace those you love.
Make your week count.