The other day I was reflecting on my childhood and considering all the ways it was so very different from that of my kids’. I was trying to assess if we had more than my kids have, but it’s a difficult assessment to make.
I do believe however, that I had much greater/deeper relationships than my kids have today.
Cousins and friends would always be at our home and we went to theirs. We’d play while our parents helped each other out. I remember going to my aunt’s and running around playing with cousins while mom and aunty did laundry side-by-side. Like ‘old school laundry’…no washer or dryer, I’m talking buckets-and-scrubbing-boards type of laundry. After that was done, we’d all gather around in her kitchen and enjoy freshly baked bread. It didn’t matter that there were more people than chairs around the table or even space for that matter.
There were cuts and bruises from running into walls…stone walls. There were card games with grandpa, talks with grandma and day trips with aunts. There were ‘fake’ car races (parents driving of course) after beach trips, to see who would get home first.
And it didn’t matter that ‘home’ wasn’t really ‘your home’. Home was wherever the car went.
There was one time when we were locked out and my uncle squeezed me through the bars to get into the house to unlock it. There was colouring with aunty’s make up instead of real crayons. There were impromptu and sometimes planned fashion shows in the backyard. There was too much laughter and not enough at the same time.
There were uncles who went to our school to ‘talk to’ teachers who we deemed were ‘mean’ to us. But there were also tears from being corrected and disciplined by aunts and uncles. They earned that right, they didn’t just know our favourite colours, food and games…they knew us. They’d see things through our eyes that the average person wouldn’t see…they loved us as if they gave birth to us and we respected them as such.
There was love, lots of it.
I wish I could give these experiences to my boys. And even more so, I really wish we’ll have it again one day, but for now I guess ‘scheduling’ visits will work.