As a Gen Xer, I so enjoy reminiscing about the freedoms we had growing up in the 70s and 80s. Our parents take on safety and acceptable ways to spend one’s time was different from the get go. Starting with baby-proofing, which in no way resembled what it is today.
In fact, I recall being given green Mr. Yuk stickers (which were basically like yellow happy face stickers that had just thrown up) to put on anything that was toxic: chemicals, cleaning supplies, etc. I remember showing my mom the stickers we’d been given at preschool and her telling me to “go for it” (yes, I was to baby-proof my own house).
So, I actively searched my house for toxins. I checked cabinets that I’d never even thought to open before, climbed on the sinks to get to all the medicines. It was like anti-baby proofing. I slapped the stickers on all my new found poisons and added one to the vegetable crisper, for good measure. Now, as a parent myself, my own parents like to tell me I’m too overprotective.
“Well, you survived,” they say.
“Yep, but it seems like the odds were against me.”
Here are a few things many of us did growing up that make me wonder how our generation survived …
1. Thinking the middle seat in the front was the best seat because you could get crushed into the dashboard … I mean, because you got to control the five radio stations.
2. Being totally inaccessible — from after school or camp until dinner. Now, we would call that being lost.
3. Having an equal intake of air: 50% oxygen, 50% secondhand smoke. Continue reading