As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a truck on a warm day in the country was awesome.
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
(Not to mention venturing more than five miles with bike and basket every day in the summer, just to check out great books from the library!)
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. The HORROR!
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode downhill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes and our friends, we learned to solve the problem.
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.
No cell phones. Unthinkable!
We played dodge-ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt.
We got cut up, broke bones, broke teeth, and there were no law suits from these accidents. They were accidents.
(No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?)
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. We were friends the next day.
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were never overweight...we were always outside playing (or crawling through sewers on a search and discover mission without contracting a deadly disease!).
We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died.
We didn't have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tapes, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends. We went outside and found them.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent!
We did this by ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world, without a guardian. How did we do it?
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls, ate questionable vegetation that looked cool; and although we were told it would happen, we didn't put out an eye, break our necks, nor grow any science projects in our stomachs (which would definitely kill us). We're still here.
Little League had tryouts; not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade... the horror!
Tests were not adjusted for any reason.
Our actions were our own.
Consequences were expected, and we hid behind no one.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law -- imagine that!
And *I* had the distinguished honor of being the only chick to make it into the elite K.E.S. (Kang Espionage Spies...don't ask...because I think MANY of us ended up in the E.R. on more than one occasion, due to some bicycle/skateboard/tree-climbing stunt). :D
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and 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 if you're one of them, congratulations!
Some of you who read this already HAVE prominent, hand-held smoothed-out game digits extending from your once-human arms! :) You missed some really good times (and stitches).
Some of us had the good fortune to grow up as kids.