What was missing in your childhood?
One of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is the ability to set your own schedule. This means when it’s time for your kid’s Field Day, “management” can bend to accommodate a couple of hours to volunteer. Such is the case for me today. I’m positively geeked up because, as I’ve written previously, I had never even HEARD of Field Day before having elementary-aged kids. Today I will have a close-up look at all of the festivities! Woot!
(Raise your hand if this was your FAVORITE day of the school year. I have yet to have anyone tell me anything different which, by the way, only makes me feel MORE deprived!)
All of this made me wonder what kind of things parents (or the lame school districts) forget to show their kids. It would be COMPLETELY like me to make similar mistakes, so I sent a few emails around to find out what went “missing” from childhood.
Here’s the big categories:
There are lists of things kids do which seem “standard” but really aren’t: trips to Washington DC, Jekyll Island, the zoo, a famous museum. At least, this is the explanation my parents give me about why they never took me to the zoo. “You went on a field trip, right?”
‘70's budget cuts, I guess.
I’m not bitter though. (I save that emotion for the people who decided against Field Day!)
For many people there is a window for when the magic kingdom still feels magical.
My friend Elizabeth didn’t get there until she was 13 and by that age she wasn’t terribly engaged with the characters or the amusement scene. The same holds true for Legoland or any waterpark (particularly important to get there before you understand about germs!). Take your kids while they're young!
Family meals start with a foundation of whatever the cook of the household likes. (And then the selection of what kids eat is narrowed down from there.)
This means if the parents don’t lead you to certain foods (like avocados, brussels spouts, or artichokes), then the kids probably won’t find them on their own (this was Billy’s story). This feels obvious, but even when you conscientiously try and expose your kids to a wide array of food, you’ll miss things.
Such was the case when my kids discovered white bread. They LOVED the sugar bread and challenged my bread-buying skills. #busted
There's a similar phenomenon with restaurant establishments. One of my friends refuses to go to Waffle House because the floors "appear" less than tidy. My friend Kristen has never been to a Cracker Barrel because her parents aren't fans. (My kids likely will have the same experience!)
Camping & Fishing
There seems to be a clear divide between camping and non-camping families. Based on my anecdotal research, if the Dad likes to camp, he invests in the gear, and if he owns the gear, by golly he’s going to use it! The same is true for fishing. If you haven't done these things by age 12, you'll have to wait until college when your friends decide to take you!
If you grow up close enough to walk to school, or if you are part of a carpool, you can complete your entire educational career without riding a yellow school bus! Shocking!!
Not everyone loaded up their station wagons and drove across the country. We went to Washington once (which was plenty for me!), so I suppose I had this experience, but there are definitely “have” and “have nots” in this category.
If you didn't make it to the slopes before high school, your chances of being the fastest down the slopes is about a zillion to one. If you haven't learned to swim before middle school, swimming will never fully feel "second nature." Did you have any childhood “misses” that everyone else seemed to have?