Saturday, September 29, 2012

A {not very} Rough Life

My kids are fascinated with the "rough life" I had as a kid.  They'll watch a funny video on youtube and  ask me if I liked it when I was a kid too.  They can hardly believe when I tell them that not only was there not youtube, but that the internet hadn't even been invented yet. 

Then I tell them how if I wanted to listen to a specific song, I either had to wait for it to randomly come on the radio or spend 10 minutes finding it on my cassette tape.  They're dumbfounded when I tell them about how we actually had to call people on the phone when we wanted to talk to them and that we both had to actually be at home for the conversation to happen, because not only was there no texting, but there weren't even any cell phones. 

It's usually about then that they ask us  whether cars had been invented yet when we were kids.  Or they ask me to tell them what it was like when Abraham Lincoln was president. 

Undeterred by their gross over-estimate of how old they think I am,  I revel in my ability to shock them and I proceed to tell them about how my siblings and I had to walk 3/4 a mile to school every day.... in 3 feet of snow. 

They always think that I exaggerate about the snow part, but then I remind them that three feet of snow is not all that far-fetched in the great state of Minnesota where I grew up.   I foolishly believe that this tidbit of info from my youth should help them appreciate their cushy bus ride to school everyday.  

Instead, they invariably are jealous.  

About the three feet of snow and the walking to school. 

Although we live about a mile and across a busy highway from their school, they beg to walk on an almost daily basis.  Sometimes I'm too busy or the weather's not very nice, but we usually end up walking either to or from school at least 2-3 times a week. 
In the mornings, the temps are a little cooler and I love the brisk pace we walk  to make sure we get there by the time the bell rings.
I enjoy the kids' energy and enthusiasm for their days ahead. 
In the afternoons, we walk more slowly and I get to hear all about their days...

We  laugh together as they retell me  the funny joke their friend told them.  We marvel at the teacher's creativity when we hear all about the cool experiment they did in science class. 
I hear all about who did what at recess.
Morning or evening,   it's invariably a time to reconnect
and I treasure our time together as we walk...
Later on I can't help but wonder what stories about their childhood
they'll end up telling their kids someday.



K said...

You forgot to mention that you had to walk UPHILL both ways to school in 3 ft of snow with hot potatoes warming your hands. (o:

Yes, we never had a very rough life, although we did have to share 1-2 McDonald's ice cream cones amongst all 8 children. That's something my kids couldn't fathom! (o:

Deanne said...

My kids have asked me if I remember when the T.V. was invented! Love your walks to/from school. What a precious time to spend with them.

Steve- Rosanna said...

K, not only a single cone to be shared by 3-4 of you, but always a single McD hamburger cut in half for each of you. We were so cheap that as you got older, we had a dollar per person fast food meal limit. Remember your cousin Adrien believing (correctly) that I was the worlds cheapest person. Nowadays the youngest children sometimes get a whole Big Mac, fries, and a shake all to themselves. Hard to imagine, eh? No wonder Tim is by far the tallest child.

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