This sweatshirt sums it up. My parents were great parents! They raised kids in a different time and they had a lot of things to worry about including stretching to pay a mortgage in the best school district, feeding and clothing four children and taking care of their parents.
They just did not have time to bubble wrap us. They gave us rules and punished us if we broke them. We were expected to do our jobs, chores, take care of each other and respect them. We got no reward for doing so, but we were reprimanded and punished if we failed to do our part. We were not praised unless we surprised them with skill or smarts and we worked hard to make them proud.
We woke up on most Saturday mornings to do our chores and then, were given the whole day to explore our world, invent something new, do something awesome and or get into trouble. I am sure the paint in our house had toxins and no one had time to worry about it, much less the quality of our water. I was never buckled into a car seat, in fact we tried to get away without buckling our waist only seatbelts. We were lucky if we had a hand me down bike. No budget or care for a helmet? If ten people could get there in one car and save on gasoline, then two families would put all the kids in the back of a pick up truck or station wagon and the ride was always twice as fun. No one worried we would not get there safely. It was more important to live within our means and on a budget. If you were thirsty on a hot summer day, the easiest fix was the garden hose and it always led to more fun. I am grateful that I was raised before bubble wrap, especially when I wander in to my local pizza place and see 6 teens squeezed into a booth fighting for elbow room so they can be on their phones instead of enjoying each other. Before bubble wrap we embraced each other crowded together, we enjoyed interacting together.
I remember being thrown into the shopping cart without a padded cloth cover to keep me from being contaminated by my ride. Our car did not have air conditioning until I was 10 years old and we survived riding down the highway with our air conditioners rolled down, hands floating in the wind.
My mother prepared one meal and we ate it or we skipped the meal. My father sent us to bed without dinner if we misbehaved. My mother and father sent us out of the room if they needed privacy, we went and usually had fun as a result.
If the teacher called because we looked at him or her the wrong way, my folks always used that as an opportunity to improve our behavior. If we came home with a complaint about school, my parents always spoke to us about how we could improve our outlook on life and never called the school to argue on our behalf. Life was not always fair and we had to figure that out and still do our best. Disappointment was a regular thing we learned to live with, but it made us try harder the next time.
We were encouraged to try to get the recognition. We were never told, “everyone is a winner” and we never witnessed everyone getting the prize or trophy.
It was a fabulous world to be raised in and I can only thank these two for doing such an amazing job!