Looking through the Heritage Gallery at designerdigitals.com this week, I really began thinking about childhood. Mine, my kids - childhood in general... I always get nostalgic, its just the way I am. Days of sparklers and red jello on 4th of July, long summer days playing in the sprinkler and making mud pies, gorgeous Fall days with apple picking, and pumpkin carving, the excitement and magic of Christmas. Season in and season out, school days, craft projects, adventures and imagination - its all there the goodness of life. I love the original Fisher Price toys and have been excited to see the replicas they are making to celebrate their anniversary. But I miss the originals - so uncomplicated, no batteries needed, kind of toys. Look at this website and see if you recall some of these popular toys from your childhood. At any given point on EBAY a vintage Fisher price search can grant you these results:
I am amazed at how my kids can sit with a toy for less than 5 minutes and declare their boredom, and if I remember correctly I am certain I did the same thing a time or two. But I remember so many times playing and being so engrosed in my imagination and in the playing aspect that time would fly by. My kids are constatnly under foot while I make dinner, or try to get household chores done, with the NEED for food. My kids dont starve (at all) but the constant nagging for a snack shows me the level of their boredom. If we are outside playing and creating, we can be there for hours and they never once mention they are hungry, but if we are stuck inside (perhaps on a rainy day) I never hear the end of it. Eating out of boredom is a bad habit to get in, and we have already nipped that in the bud. But it continues to draw on me the whole idea of how much life has changed for children these days, and it actually saddens me. They remain so overly stimulated that they quit relying on their own imaginations. (I know I am just that way). But I remember playing in the woods next to my aunts house building forts and breaking limbs off trees, climbing and digging. I remember using boxes and sheets for the never ending pirate escapade, I remember dawning chaps and riding that stick horse chasing robbers and playing lone ranger. I remember Saturday mornings with little house on the prairie and heidi. So much of looking forward is looking back. The whole climactic problem with society in general (according to this 30 something SAHM) is the WANT for more, bigger, better, grander, being the best, top dog, numero uno. Quite honestly, I am okay with peanut butter and jelly, and nice house in the burbs, and some vintage fisher price toys and pre1980 cartoons.
When did life go and get so complicated anyway? My 7yr old began explaining to her sister in the car yesterday the difference between needs and wants. I just listened to this whole conversation evolve about the necessity of having food, clothing, and shelter, and how toys are wants, and fancy cars are wants. I am not sure how much the 5yr old truly comprehended but what I knew for sure is that the 9 yr old was listening, and occasionally interjecting his opinion, which surprised me (since he is the direct result of years of doing this parenting thing all wrong). He agreed about the nature of want vs. need but in his terms, he needs a baseball bat to play little league, he just doesnt NEED the $40.00 bat he picked out, when the $15.00 one mom picked out would work just fine. So I know its being absorbed little by little. And if they can start thinking this way and living this way, imagine what a difference they are going to make as parents. Those thoughts never leave me as a parent, the whole concept that I am not raising children I am raising adults. This childhood I am creating for them and with them, determines who they are as adults and that isnt taken lightly. So if we break the mold of greed and self promotion by stopping long enough to consider the impact it is having on the people we are responsible for raising, so be it. I will be happier for it and they will be better off for it. I have always said I wanted ot be June Cleaver, and I think our world could use a few more of her around these days.