Recently a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook about how to give your kids a 1970’s summer. It’s a great piece that calls to mind some of the simple pleasures of growing up in that decade. It got me thinking. What are some simple pleasures that I grew up with that my kids are missing out on? I hope my non-local readers will indulge me, while I wax a bit nostalgic for the long summer days growing up in my small southern town. Maybe some of these will remind you of your childhood–no matter where you grew up.
If I ever find a time machine, here are some things I will do with my kids. Or better yet – let them do on their own.
1. I will let them watch all the TV they want – as long as whatever they want to watch comes on channel 3, 10, or 27. If they are still awake when all the stations sign off at midnight, they should stand for the Nation Anthem.
2. I will take them to swimming lesson at the Shamrock Motel. These lessons must take place early in the morning while it’s still cold. The water must be just above freezing. The instructor will be in her 80’s. She will never get in the water, but she will yell “Kick! Kick! Kick!” loudly enough for my children to hear her no matter where they are in the pool. They will learn to swim – or die trying.
I myself grew up firmly believing there was a vey real danger that I might be thrown from a boat and forced to swim and float for hours in Table Rock lake while waiting to be rescued. I had no doubt I was up to the challenge. Thank you, Mrs. Moore.
3. I will let them walk to the city pool in the afternoons. They can also ride their bikes. Either way, they will be barefoot. Since we live too far from town for them to walk, I’ll just drop them off at their daddy’s store. They can make it from there. Of course, I will not slather them with sunscreen before they leave, and I certainly will not remind them to re-apply every 60 – 90 minutes.
4. When they are tired of swimming, they may walk or ride their bikes to Stubb’s Grocery for some candy. Oh! I do hope they will choose candy cigarettes. (Thankfully we can still do this one.)
5. I will drop them off on the square so they can just walk around. I will buy my daughters Ciao purses, but they must save their own money for an add-a-bead necklace.
6. I will get them I’M COVERED t-shirts–the ones Shelter insurance gave away free that became inexplicably trendy. They are perfect for wearing over a swimsuit whilst walking to the city pool barefooted, smoking candy cigarettes.
7. I will take them to the horse races at the fair.
8. I will give them each $5 to go to the movie. I will expect change.
9. I will NOT send them to basketball camp, baseball camp, volleyball camp, cheer camp, football camp, band camp or any other camp designed to improve a skill. They may, however, go to church camp but ONLY if it is not air conditioned and the only activities include swimming, catching crawdads, and watching people get saved.
10. I will take them to Berryville Drug for a Coke. From the fountain. Ahhhh, I can still taste it.
So what about you? If a time machine took you and your kids back to your hometown circa 1970 something or 1980 something, what would you be doing all summer?