Frequently, in conversations, the subject of “the way things used to be” comes up. Oh no, you may think, it’s a story about the good old days when times were hard, but the old folks managed to survive! Not exactly. First of all, I don’t consider myself “old”. Besides that, you’re as young as you feel. Secondly, the times I’m referring to weren’t so hard. If they were, we didn’t seem to notice. The kids especially were able to overcome the times just by being kids.
The setting is summer. No school to have to worry about the next day. At the time I was a stay-at-home Mom, so everyone got to sleep in a little the next morning. As I finished my coffee the kids would begin to stir downstairs, and upstairs. After breakfast, feeding the critters we had accumulated, listening to something on the TV, there would always be shopping, cleaning (yes, the kids had chores!). The day goes by pretty fast with all the routine things that needed to be done. When their tasks were done, they may have played video games for awhile – we started with Atari, and eventually upgraded to Nintendo! We were high-tech! Sometimes there would be bickering, sometimes laughter. Someone always had to get into the bathroom when someone else was there! Eventually, phone calls interrupted the day or the doorbell would ring and it was usually one of the kid’s friends wanting to play.
Now with 4 kids, just one extra person for each added up pretty fast! Still, they usually didn’t hang around long, because they were off on some adventure. We lived in a small town, and even though there might seemingly not have been much to do, the kids always got some things going. Good things. I’ll never forget as the kids got older and the “I’m Bored!” syndrome found it’s way into our haven. At one time, my sister had let us know that they were going to visit us with their 3 kids. Now they were living inTexas near a huge amusement park, but her kids were “bored!” and could hardly wait to see us and play in the Wave Pool our town had! Imagine!
I love recalling those summer nights that would wrap around the sound of children’s voices calling, “Tag, you’re It!”, “Olly, olly, oxen free!”. Listening to those giggle-filled, carefree exchanges meant the kids were safe. We were a community where everyone watched out for each other’s kids. Is there a town like that anymore? The times have changed. We have since left that small town and I’m not so sure I would be able to feel that my kids would be able to roam around freely anymore. Does safe, small-town America still exist? If it does and you live there, enjoy it! The memories will last a lifetime!