When I think of my childhood, I am overwhelmed with nostalgia. I can smell, taste, feel it. I wish I could raise my kids the way I grew up, but times have so changed since then.
I grew up in Jamaica, a child of the seventies and eighties. Looking back now, I can identify the beginnings of social media, but in a non-electronic way. Twitter….this was integral to my childhood, only, we did not call it Twitter back then. Actually, I can’t recall that we used a name for our communication style. Tweeting is a pretty mild form of what we did. We were more robust, so heading out the house, I’d cup my hands over my mouth and hoot up the hill to my friend Cassie. And she’d hoot right back, letting me know she’d be on her way shortly. Facebook…This meant that our faces were actually buried in books.The library was our friend, and we’d spend hours there. With a big world out there, this was our key to learning about countries, people, animals, events….the learning was endless, and books held us willing captives.
We’d also spend the day roaming from one house to another, a neighborhood group of friends who hung out together. A mixture of boys and girls, we’d form cricket and football(soccer) and dandy-shandy (dodgeball) teams, have our own Olympic track team tryouts. Bird shooting with slingshots? We were really good, and at the end of the summer we would have a big cookout with all the birds we accumulated in the freezer. Fruit trees grew wild, and we knew where to find them, and just when to cash in on the bounty. We could spend the day hanging out under these trees, filling our bellies with mangoes, sweetsops, naseberries, guineps and all the other wonderful, fresh, sweet tropical fruits that nature offered us. And that kept us out of trouble….that, and the knowledge that we were being raised under the notion of “It takes a village to raise a child”. My friends’ parents could discipline us if we acted up, so we behaved.
I wish I could relive those days again. So carefree, stress-free…so free!!
Maybe if I had some of these fruits at my fingertips again, it might help?