7 Things I Learned from Being A Kid

Monday, August 3, 2020

Ah, the good old days.  I always tell everyone that I feel bittersweet inside when I reflect on my childhood because it was so darn good and wholesome.  Running around in barefeet with the neighborhood kids until the street lights came on taught me many life lessons and today I'm going to share those with you.

1. Age and gender don't matter. 

As a kid, I ran around with kids of all ages and genders.  We teamed up to play in the creek, play flashlight tag on the golf course after hours, and draw with sidewalk chalk.  It didn't matter what group you ran around with in school, because once you stepped off that bus we all had the same thing in common...we lived in the same hood and could play in the same places.  Naturally, the older kids kept an eye out for the younger kids and made sure they felt welcomed and accepted.   

2. Dirt doesn't hurt. 
We played in the creek for hours on end getting mucky and dirty and then eating lunch.  We didn't always wash our hands.  In fact we didn't even care because what did it matter?   I have definitely built up a healthy immune system from crawling around on the ground like an animal and climbing trees in the woods.  We foraged for wild raspberries and even enjoyed honeysuckle flowers.   

3. Animals are amazing. 
Growing up with the creek in my backyard I was so grateful to witness all kinds of wildlife and even saw some of them raise babies.  I learned so much about mallard ducks, foxes, and fish.  I learned how to save birds that got trapped in the neighbors rabbit hutch and automatically jumped in the creek to clean out the trash.   I saw bald eagles dive down to get fish and there was even a loose bear one time that gave me a healthy respect for large mammals. 

4. Time doesn't matter. 
I never kept track of time as a kid. I came home from school, did homework, ate dinner then my parents set me and my brother loose like horses going out to pasture.  We didn't care what time it was, we just played and played without a care in the world.  To this day, when I leave my phone in the house, I lose track of time when out and about exploring the woods or my own backyard and it feels SO GOOD. 

5. We don't need technology to thrive. 
We would just run to each other's houses and start bouncing a basketball which naturally drew everyone else out of their homes.  We didn't need to check social media feeds or watch funny videos for entertainment.  We made our own funny memories even without a camera.  In fact, we still vividly remember these funny memories and inside jokes to this day which shows you that if you really live in the moment, it doesn't need to be documented electronically.

6. Be kind to kids. 
When we first got our house, I remember seeing kids playing right in front of our house and for a split second I got annoyed when they ran through the yard.  Then I remembered that that used to be me.  I used to quite literally run around through everyone's backyard and they knew it and they never minded.   So remember, let kids be kids.  Harmless fun even if it includes loud laughter is much better than kids getting into trouble or doing dangerous things. 

7. The simple things in life are the most enriching. 
We didn't need expensive toys or technology to enjoy life.  We used our imagination and built things with sticks, made tree houses by simply standing under a giant pine tree and saying "this one's mine!", and we certainly didn't need the latest and greatest toys.  A basketball, a fishing net to catch crayfish, and water shoes were the cheapest and most enjoyable things we had.  

What did you learn from your childhood?

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