First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.
Then, after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or childproof doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention the risks we took hitch-hiking.
As children we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Takeaway food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, curry shops or Subway.
Even though all shops closed at 6pm and didn’t open at weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death! We shared soft drink with our friends from one bottle and no-one actually died from it.
We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner shop to buy toffees, gobstoppers, bubble gum and some bangers. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in them, but we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No-one was able to reach us all day, and we were okay. We would spend hours building our go-karts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with Matchbox cars. We did not have play stations, Nintendo, Wii, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on Sky, no video/DVD films, no mobile phones, personal computers 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. Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt and the worms did not live in us forever!
You could only buy Easter eggs and hot cross buns at Easter time!
We were given air guns and catapults for our 19th birthdays. We cycled or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell – or just yelled for them.
Mum didn’t have to go to work to help Dad make ends meet.
Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bullies always ruled the playground at school. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of… if they did it was an embarrassment. Anyway, mostly they actually sided with the law.
Our parents didn’t invent names for their kids, like Kiora, Blade, Ridge or Vanilla.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it all.
And YOU are one of them… CONGRATULATIONS.
You might want to share this with others who had the luck to grow up as kids before lawyers and the Government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you’re at it, show it to your kids so they know how brave their parents were.