CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE AUSTRALIAN KIDS WHO WERE BORN BEFORE 1970. YOU ARE A SURVIVOR!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and who lived in houses without insulation, central heating or air conditioning and were made of asbestos. Our mothers took aspirin, incinerated meat to carcinogenic levels and boiled the nutrition out of vegetables to the point where they were are grey tasteless mass. They ate tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.
Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks some of us took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a Ute on a warm day was always a special treat. Often, we sat on our parents lap.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
Take away food was limited to fish and chips – no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Red Rooster. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn’t open on the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, (from the one bottle) and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Fruit Tingles and some fire crackers to blow up frogs and letter boxes with. We would dump all our used beer and wine bottle at the local boy scouts bottle dump amidst fragments of broken glass.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because…… WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our billy carts out of scrap timber and then ride down the hill, only to find out that we had forgotten the brakes. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in the gutter with matchbox cars.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no videogames at all, no 99 channels on cable TV, no video tape or DVD movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……….WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and chipped teeth, and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.
Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross buns at Easter time.
We were given BB guns and sling shots for our 10th birthdays, We drank milk laced with Strontium 90 from cows that had eaten grass covered in nuclear fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga in 1956.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!
Footy had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bully’s always ruled the playground at school.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the local copper!
Our parents got married before they had children and didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like "Kiora" and "Blade".
The generation of kids born before 1980 has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If you are one of them – CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with URL with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward the URL of this post to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.