From the Editor... LOCALS today's kids, tweens and teens edition

Friday, September 10, 2010

Growing up, I had a wonderful childhood. Both of my parents were home every night and at least four of the five week nights, we ate dinner as a family at the table. We were always eating by 6:30 because we never missed an episode of Wheel of Fortune.  Our meals usually consisted of a meat, vegetables and some kind of bread. It was always a home cooked meal made fresh every night. To this day, I still try to have dinner ready by the time Wheel of Fortune comes on so I can carry on the tradition.

    My parents made sure my brother and I were cared for and didn't get everything we wanted. In high school, when my classmates were wearing Adidas, I was still wearing Keds, when they were in Nikes, I was just getting my first pair of Adidas. One thing was certain, when I got the things I wanted, I made sure they were worn, played with or taken care of... I didn't want mom and dad taking them away from me.

    I had chores. Yep, the chores that kids to this day still don't want to do. I cleaned my room, cleaned the bathrooms and dusted just about every piece of furniture in the house. Now that I have a house of my own, I still wish I didn't have chores, but I'm glad my mother taught me how to keep things in order or otherwise my house would be a nightmare.

    After the chores were finished, I could go outside and play with my neighbors. We lived in the country and I was brought home from the hospital to the same address I lived until I moved out. My parents still live there. Our neighbors had a son a few months younger than me and had a daughter a few years later. I still miss the days where we would meet outside and make paths in the woods to ride our bikes. (That was the only time I ever wanted to use a rake.) It's funny how we have grown up and gone in different directions in our lives. A few weeks ago, a death in their family brought us back together for a short visit. It was fun to reminisce about the good times we used to have and to catch up on how our lives have changed for the better. Sometimes I miss those summers of playing pretend with the neighbors. Only then we were wishing our lives away ready to get our drivers license and move out. If we only knew then what we know now.

    During the school year, I had afternoon activities. Dance, piano, voice and show choir kept me busy after school. Whether it was going to a lesson or staying home and practicing, my parents made sure I had the opportunities that they never had. I'm thankful they took me to my first piano lesson during my kindergarten year. I kept it up for 13 more years taking lessons and practicing every day. It's something I will have with me for a lifetime. Today just about every kid is playing soccer. But when I was in school, soccer wasn't a big sport. Just goes to show you how time can change things.

    It's fun to think back on being a kid, tween and teenager. And it's fun to see how things have changed since I was one many years ago. I didn't face the same issues that today's youth have to deal with. But it is good to see that today's youth are making a difference in the world.

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