Saturday, July 13, 2013

They Did, I Didn't

When I was growing up, I had INFINITE HOURS of unsupervised time. My cousins and I could go anywhere in town and play. We didn't have to tell our parents every single place we were going though they knew where we started.

No one ever bothered us or made us feel unsafe. We went from house to house and yard to yard and store to store---well, just one store really, the drugstore where we could sit at the counter and get cherry cokes which were absolutely delightful!

We played and played and played. Rarely, if ever, would you find us in front of the television during the day light hours.

Some of that was  the same way for the lovelies when they were growing up. Rarely if ever would you find them in front of the television during the day. And they played and played and played. But they were NOT unsupervised.

Times were calling for more caution when the lovelies were coming along.

My parents had no reason to worry about child abductions or various other things that could happen to unsupervised kids. Ours was a small town with relatively little bad stuff going on.

By the time Breezy was in kindergarten, there was a child abductor in our area. His picture was posted on the news and his van was seen in a neighborhood close to ours.

Do y'all know when I first remember hearing about such things as child abductors. About the time Breezy was two years old. I hadn't heard of them or just hadn't paid attention until that time.

Did the lovelies miss out on their childhood because of increased risks of unsupervised play? No. They played a lot of the same games I did when I was growing up. They went just about everywhere they wanted to go. They had friends over ALL THE TIME. They participated in activities. They did it all. It's just that they did it with me along--and, no, I wasn't creepy about it or overprotective. It's not like I hovered.  

Looking back, I think that having me around all the time and involved in everything they did was one thing that made us all so close. It kept me alert and I became an adept learner of each lovely individually.

They may not have the freedom to roam alone as I did--I didn't even let them walk the quarter mile from school to home...though that was mainly because of the teenage drivers in the neighborhood who thought that it was fun to pretend like they were going to hit walkers with their cars...idiots. BUT, they were lacking in play time or participation in any activities AND they got to have their mom right there alongside them cheering them on, giving support and encouragement...

So, while my parents did allow us the freedom to roam independently, I was not able, or willing, to allow it with the lovelies. And I'm pretty sure that their childhood might have been even richer than my own because of it.

Were you more watchful over your kids than your parents were over you?


  1. I have to say I grew up like you too. I would leave on my horse in the morning and return as the sun was setting.
    I think because we had kids the same age we both saw in the media children who were being taken made me over protective. I don't think my kids ever had the freedom I did. You know I think it is the same now. We have a good relationship and I want to know what is going on in their lives. My parents were really never that interested. So I guess it was the age. I am so thankful for that too. It was pretty scary in those days wasn't it. Especially now when those poor kids that were abducted have been found and the horror stories that go with them.

  2. Kim- If I had had a horse my parents might never have seen me again. LOL My parents always seemed more interested in grown up stuff than kids. I think that's why I connected so much with my dad and football. He loved it and watched it and so I watched it with him. We still share that love of the game to this very day and I value our conversations with him about football. As a grandparent he was way more hands on and he likes to know everything the lovelies are doing.

  3. I was in the woods, in the barn, in the wild but rarely in the house except when working. We weren't allowed to sit in front of the tv.

    My children were not affected as much but some. I will not let a grand child out of my sight!

  4. I grew up the same way you did. Small town, where everyone knew everyone. Doors weren't locked. We would head out after breakfast and maybe show up for a peanut butter sandwich around lunch time, but maybe not. We knew we had to be home for dinner, and the whole family sat down together to eat dinner. My boys were 17 and 21 when I married their dad, so I missed out on those early years with them. I wouldn't trade my childhood, though, for anything. It is sad that kids today (and the last generation) don't have the same freedom to learn and explore independently, like we did.

  5. I think I had a lot more freedom but I also had a lot more siblings so we were always in a pack. Sheldon was an only so she was much more sheltered.......

  6. I grew up the same as you did... small town where everyone knew you. We never watched TV during the day and it was rare that we even watched at night until I was in my teens. Yes, I was much more watchful over my kids than my parents were over me, mostly because we live in a much larger community and I didn't know anyone when we moved here. And I think that my children are even MORE watchful of their kids than I was. I think it's sad that kids can't be free to be outside playing, wandering and exploring as we did without worrying about bad people.

  7. The Atlanta Child Murders came to the Spotlight around the time I turned 11 (I lived 200 miles away and they still made us come in well before dark) .. before that I was all over the place. Walking, riding my bike, skating and from one relative house to a friends house to all over the neighborhood. I only watched Saturday morning cartoons and The Three Stooges before going off to School in the morning.

    My Mom was a Single Parent and worked for a local Manufacturing Company working shifts ... I've always had a Office job, so 9a-5p was the norm for me and a few times in between I was the stay at home parent. I didn't strap them in helmets to ride their bikes, but I was definitely a "helicopter Parent" ...

  8. Gail- I can't think of any kid, when I was little, who was allowed to sit in front of the television. I can see me being the same way about grands...when I ever get some. LOL

    Terri- That's another thing I made sure the lovelies had a sit down together family dinner every single night. Those were so enjoyable when I was growing up and I didn't want them to miss out on such an important time. Thanks for reminding me about that!

    Mrs. T- I was an only too. Until I was 12 when we adopted three brothers. But I was still allowed freedom to roam. I wouldn't have dared allowed that of the lovelies- even though they were a pack. LOL

    Debi-I think it's sad too. I just don't understand why anyone would ever, for any reason, want to hurt a child.

    Jackie- I remember those. Terrifying! I have such admiration and respect for single moms. I honestly don't know how they do it- their energy source alone astounds me.

  9. I always kept an eye on the kids while they thought they were being unsupervised. I, too, lived in a small country town with almost no crime - that I ever knew of - and us kids just went anywhere and everywhere all day long in the summer. But I knew there were 'bad men' around and remember a lonely stretch of road between my house and my girlfriend's place. We'd meet in the middle and I awfully glad to see her. As she was me, I'm sure.

  10. I roamed free too in a way my children never will. I do however remember talk of child abductors when I was small and remember being approached by two men in a van who wanted me to help them look for a lost dog. I had been warned at school about it, so I took off running.

  11. Oh mine were definitely more supervised than I was. We too lived in a small town, had unlimited freedom, spent all summer outdoors, mainly playing with each other (advantage of having 7 kids!!).
    I've kept an eye on mine while they thought they were unsupervised, like Stephanie. Living in a city, you have to!
    We were aware of child abductors when growing up, and used to run very fast on lonely stretches of road. And men in vans were sometimes reported, but we still had A LOT of freedom!
    Don't you wonder what it will be like in 20 year's time?

  12. Same here Pam. Cindy I would get up and out of the house by 7am and be home for lunch unless we ate at my grandparents that lived a mile away or had a picnic out in our 180 acres. We'd hear my daddy whisle at 6:00 and return home. It didn't matter if it was 80 above or 40 below we were always outside. We made forts in the hay barn and would be out there in the cold.
    I would let Mike roam to great grandma's, my parents and even the Wysocki's which lived 2 miles away but would be calling to check up on him every couple of hours or more. I always knew where he was going unlike my mama but still let him roam a bit.
    TV wasn't on our agenda at home except Wednesday nights for Grizzly Adams and Sunday night for Disney and Mike didn't get TV except Saturday mornings because I'd want to sleep a bit past 4am. I worked in a nursing home and had early hours and once you start getting a kid up at that time he couldn't tell if it was a work day or not so would just be up.
    Hope you're having a great day Pam. Blessings!!

  13. When my girls were in elementary school we lived on a small cul-de-sac in a small neighborhood. The kids all congregated in the middle of the street to play together which was nice. I grew up with a lot of the same freedoms you mention, and feel like my girls had some of that but normally a parent had an eyeball on them.

    I'm so behind on reading blogs, just jumping in here and there to catch up a little. Hope you're having a good summer and the wedding plans are going swimmingly!

  14. I had freedom but my mother knew exactly where I was. I had to say, "I'm going to the pool, park or over someone's house" And stay there, if I moved I had to call her.
    As far as my kids, they were supervised but I gave them their space. I usually read while they played. At times I participated but not too much, I wanted them to deal with their own social interactions without my presence felt.

    Lucy from Lucy's Reality


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