Things From My Childhood

I have.  I’ve enjoyed my experiences.  I enjoyed my childhood.  I enjoyed becoming an adult, a woman, and a mother.  I enjoy my memories.  I enjoy them so much, I’m heartbroken about the things my own children will never experience.  Those experiences are fading away for everyone, in our new world of advanced technology and disconnect. It’s incredible to me, just how much has changed during my lifetime.  I have reached a definitive conclusion about it all;  Change is the only constant.  
I find that both comforting and devastating.

I’ve even enjoyed the pain. I’ve enjoyed the lows, the losses, and my most desperate moments.  Maybe, I just learned to find a retroactive enjoyment.  However this came to be, it’s true.  At some point, I developed an intimate understanding and respect for the value of my trials, obstacles, and hardest times.  They are part of my history, part of me.  I like myself.  I respect myself. I love myself.  I can’t hate any part of my life that helped define who I am, or who I became.

People often describe the worst moments in their lives as the ones they want to forget.  I don’t want to forget.  I remember, because they are the greatest points of comparison in recognizing the best moments in my life .  My life has been like a child’s first visit to the big kids’ amusement park, with all the inevitably overwhelming excitement and fear.  I love to reflect.  It’s my me-time.  When I can, I take a moment to think about my life, analyzing it in retrospect and smiling fondly when my most beloved childhood memories come to mind.

I’ve made a career in Social Media, so I have to laugh at the irony of my mourning.  And I do, mourn.  I miss the things that feel like forever ago.  I miss the IRL (in-real-life) connections shared by communities.  I miss the simplicity.  Of course, I’m complex and always intellectually soul searching.  So, I’m happy that the changes in my lifetime include diversity being more embraced, individuality being celebrated, and the social vibe that inspires people to dream bigger than they ever imagined possible, years ago.  I’m happy that 40 isn’t old, and I’m happy that it’s “okay” to start over, at any age.  I’m glad that technology has helped bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, making information, self-education, and growth truly free-for-the-taking.

It never occurred to me that I would one day miss these childhood memories, the ones my children will never experience.  At least, not the way I did.  My generation had these things in common.  Parenting ideas and practices are much more advanced now, in many ways.  Everyone has their own ideas about what’s right and wrong.  When I was growing up, I think parents agreed more about parenting. Maybe not.  I still miss these things:

  • Twenty neighborhood second-moms
  • Encyclopedia Salesmen – oh the coveted homes of encyclopedia owners
  • Milkmen
  • Drinking water from a hose
  • Walk-up windows at burger joints and ice cream stands
  • Restaurants with booths and coin-pay music boxes at each booth
  • Telephones made with a string connecting two cans
  • Stilts made with cans and strings
  • Nellys – the local store located smack in the middle of the block
  • Riding on the handlebars
  • Records
  • Walkmans
  • Clothes that fit (don’t miss bell bottoms)
  • Typewriters
  • TVs in wooden cases
  • moms gathered on porches
  • playing in the street
  • cardboard boxes transformed into amazing things via regularly active imaginations
  • tie-dye shirts
  • tie-dye parties
  • big tricycles
  • uncluttered schedules that allowed kids to be kids
  • old Chevy cars
  • roller skates
  • Rotary Telephones
  • Grandfather Clocks
  • Block Parties

I wonder what it will be like when my kids are my age.  I’m putting this out there, I hope I’m still around! I wonder what they’ll miss from their childhoods.  Instagram? I wonder when they’ll start telling their own when-I-was-your-age-stories to their kids. I hope we’ll have long talks and laughs.  When you’re young, it seems like things will always be the way they are, now.  We don’t realize how much things change until we are looking back on them.  Change really is the only constant.

What things do you miss from your childhood? Share them in the comments!

By:  Alicia Gonzalez