by Julie Grenness, in Australia.
Another little baby boomer was born. Maybe our mothers smoked or drank during their pregnancies. Moreover, our mothers took aspirin or Bex, ate
fish from tins, and had no ultrasounds or pre-natal testing.
Having been born, we were swaddled to the max, and cradled in bassinets and cots, painted with lead-based paints. We grew up in homes with no locks on cupboards or doors. We were given toy guns and loved playing cowboys. For transport, we rode on pushbikes or tricycles with no helmets, and bounced around in cars with no seat belts or child booster seats.
In daily life we were told to ‘go and play’, so we mucked around in large backyards, drank from the garden hose, shared drinks, and ate mud pies in the
vegetable patch. We grew brown to the great summer sun. It was all good for our immune system, according to our old Grandpa. Hence, potential skin cancer these days.
We all took our lunch to school, sandwiches of white bread with real butter. We ate home baked cakes cooked with real white sugar and full cream
milk. We ate musk lollies and lolly cigarettes. We were always playing, no one was checking constantly on a mobile phone where we were all day. We had no
watches, or smart phones. When the street lighting came on, we went indoors for dinner of meat and three vegetables, home grown. We ate fruit from our fathers’ fruit trees.
What is more, we studied at schools in large grades. No laptops, no computer, no internet, or even calculators for doing Maths. We had to use our
brains. We had no GPS to find our way around the suburbs to seek our friends, who all lived nearby.
We climbed trees, scraped knees, got cuts and broken bones, and got into ‘trouble’ at school, or when ‘father’ came home. No one got litigated. Lots
of times we spent happy hours making up games with tennis balls or skipping ropes, and boys made go-carts, and had slinghots. We made our own fun.
So, what changed all that? Why, we became the generation that stopped Vietnam, had flowers in our hair, and along the way, invented technology. This is our legacy, we were the inventors. Thanks to the demise of the brick veneer or weatherboard dwelling, the great suburban dream, many millennial children are growing up in multi-cluster homes, with no back yard.
They play in the concrete driveway, or online. They are constantly supervised by their mobile phones. For friends, they travel to sporting complexes, under
heavy escort, to play in approved sporting teams. Their education is that of the 21st Century, a visual graphic and communicative approach. We had to learn
with rote page turning in a limited range of text books. Norms change. But we all survived. Somehow.
Any of this ring a bell? What are your nostalgic memories of your childhood, now we are all ‘grown up’?