Posted in Christmas, Family, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

My Childhood was based on a Dare

1child1At least it felt like my childhood was based on a dare.

1. Falling seemed to be a common thing. I fell out of trees, off bikes, off ladders, playsets…I’m amazed they didn’t just give me my own room at the local hospital. Helmets, those were for Evel Knievel, we flew over ramps or downhill sledding, hair flying in the wind. If there was a hole to another world, I would have fallen in it.

2. We were left alone, in cars, boats, strollers, houses, playgrounds. Weeknights, my brother and I were latch-key kids, similar to Cabbage Patch Kids, but with a key to our house and no parental supervision. Weekends, we were vagabonds, the world our oyster, except to get food and let our parents see we had no major injuries.

3. Playgrounds were a scene from Mad Max; they were hardcore, if you could make it there, you could survive the apocalypse. Peeling lead paint, rusted jagged pieces jutting out, 3rd degree burns from the metal slide, asphalt and dirt as far as the eye could see, sharp edges (still have a scar from the school slide, going face first; come on, I was dared, maybe even double-dared). Remember the merry-go-round, you weren’t having fun until someone flew off or threw up or both. Making it home from the playground was a badge of courage.1child44. My childhood was like living in a chimney and neither of my parents even smoked; everyone else smoked, or so it seemed at the time. No restricted areas, no bans, just a carcinogenic fog.

1child25. We lived in the sun; as a child I was constantly in a state of: burned, peeling, tanned, repeat.

6. Toys were not for the faint of heart: Exploding Clankers, Jarts, Atomic Energy Lab (yes, with 4 types of uranium ore included), BB guns, Streaker, Ker-knockers, Ice Birds (you could make hard as rock ice balls that you definitely wouldn’t throw at anyone, like, ever).

7. And what was with catching things? Bugs, snakes, frogs, cats, dogs, balls, bikes, colds, each other…

8. We were out of touch with people all the time, our status update was, on the move.

9. Our parents didn’t watch CSI, Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc. so they didn’t ever think we were going to be kidnapped. They did watch Dallas, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, etc. so their worst fear was we were going to be over-actors.1child310. None of this even takes into account what our Moms did during pregnancy back then.

Is childhood better or worse now? Probably a bit of both. Things are always different in retrospect.

The only thing I know, when children say they want to be older…be careful what you wish for and be very specific.



Very me

61 thoughts on “My Childhood was based on a Dare

      1. Of course, being The Windy City. 😉
        We’re just waiting to lose our power…sounds like freight trains are rushing by our house. Little unnerving. 🙂
        Best wishes, Donna xo


  1. I had two older brothers and a cousin I was always trying to copy, be like and impress. Led to many a skinned appendage, bruise and yep, a scar or two. Man it was a lot of fun though. This post brings back a slew of memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My mother, raising two freckled redheads, thought one application of SPF 8 for all day was just fine.

    Burn, peel, freckle, repeat.

    Oh, and noxema was put on the sunburns. May as well use Icy Hot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’d play outside sun up until the street lights came on four seasons, yada. When it snowed, we took out the sleds. Yeah, it was different in the wayback. I think it was good to have to play pick up sports, hang out, make up your own fun.


  4. Childhood in the 60s was pretty much the same … and life in a small town was endless exploration with nominal adult supervision.
    I’m glad I’m not raising children anymore. The world feels like a scarier place. I must be getting old 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, roaming the streets with only the supervision of your peers was, from my memory was fascinating, sometimes dangerous, and mostly, fun. 🙂
      Maybe you’re just getting wiser. 😉


  5. This post was timely for me. I really enjoyed it. It’s been flashback city around me for novel writing month — i set my novel (The Guitar Mancer) in 1970. It’s been fun mentioning (and looking at pins of) lots of products, songs, and stuff that was going on. Now if i can just keep having fun long enough to finish it.


  6. Great, fun post! To the playground description, may I add the teeter totter, where if you made the mistake of getting on with a kid who either had a mean streak or did that day, could result in a) the little turd planting their weight at ground level while leaving you stuck up in the air kicking & shouting, “Let me down!” which could lead to b) the nasty kid suddenly hopping off their seat so that your end instantly plummeted earthward, stopping only when your behind slammed into the ground, sending painful vibrations shooting up your spine and slamming your jaw together. Ah, the good ol’ days….


    1. I think I’m suppressing memories of the teeter totter as I had a child jump off the other side and yes, slam me into the ground – my back has never been the same. It’s amazing we survived our childhoods, really. Those were the days… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah…how did we survive is right, but we did (well, most). Thanks for having me! 🙂
      I just wandered around my archives and then I thought, oh yeah! 😉


    1. What?!? Wow! Thank you! I was just catching up on comments and posts – I have some of the best blogging friends in the history of universe – you all seem to have amazing timing, cheering me up just when I need it! Thanks. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, Lisa, I’ve been behind on my comments, long story, not even an interesting one and just found out!!! So pleased! You’re all so lovely! Thank you, so glad I found #FridayFrivolity 🙂


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