Kids will never know the following…
Waiting for re-runs because you missed an episode of a show. We did not have On Demand or DVR. You missed it and you had to wait until the summer when if you were lucky, they showed a rerun.
Walking around with a quarter in your shoe. We did not have cell phones. We had pay phones. If you needed to make a call you had to put in a quarter. If you had no pockets you kept it in your shoe.
Missing the first few seconds of your favorite song as you tried to tape it off the radio. I remember sitting for HOURS waiting for Duran Duran songs to come on and tape them. Along with that winding up cassette tapes with a pencil. Sometimes it was faster than the cassette deck in your car.
Only having a handful of channels to find something to watch. The major stations were CBS, NBC, ABC and the PBS. We had our lineups of what we used to watch and then we would gather together in one room with the ONLY TV in the house and watch the shows as a family. I remember sitting with my grandparents watching The Waltons, MASH. On Friday nights we would watch Dukes of Hazards and Fantasy Island.
Playing neighborhood games like kick the can and tag. We would roam all over the neighborhood playing these games. We always knew to come home when the street lights came on. Parents looked out for other kids. It was a sense of family.
The sticky floor only 80’s hair can bring. I would shellack my hair every morning with the cheapest hairspray possible. Usually RAVE or some version of White Rain. You spray then hold the hair dryer to dry the hairspray. Course all the spray that did not find its way on your head would wind up caked on the bathroom floor.
What it is like to ride in the back of the pickup truck. Wind in the hair. Bouncing around the back. No seatbelt. No care for safety. We were indestructible.
Piling into the pickup truck to head to the drive-in theater. Setting up chairs in the back of the truck or station wagon and waiting for the sun to go down with the smell of popcorn in the air. Playing on the swing set until the movie started. Then running back trying to find the right car. Piling in and complaining you can’t see over the bucket front seat. All snuggled under a blanket.
Covering your textbook with paper bags from the grocery store. We did not have fancy book covers. We were required to cover our books the first week of school. Then all year long using the front, back and inside flaps your own personal doodling space.
One thing they will never know is a world free from tragedy. The worst thing in our young minds to happen in the ’80s was the space shuttle explosion. I was a student just outside of Concord NH. As you know Christa McAuliffe was the first teacher in space and she was from Concord High School. That tragedy hit us hard. Sadly there have been and will continue to be a tragedy…from 9/11 to Sandy Hook to countless other mass shootings. With the global world, we have lost our anonymity.
Plain old playground bullying. Sock it out and move on. Now every stupid thing a person does is on the internet for all to see and comment on. That kind of power comes at a cost. Children have lost their innocence at the hands of cruel cyberbullying.
I don’t know what the future holds for my family but I pray daily for a childhood filled with wonder and exploration. I want to keep them safe and “little” as long as possible. Our goal is to spread kindness and leave a little joy behind us.