Life & Love & Lessons Learned

Growing Up 70s Style

I was raised in the 70’s. We had roller skating rinks, station wagons, gaucho pants, Linda Rondstadt, and cassette tapes. That’s it. Nothing else. Nothing else mattered to me. Wait, and Devil Dogs. I loved Devil Dogs. 

Every Saturday morning, I’d set up my cassette recorder while I listened to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 on the radio. I’d press “play” right before the song started, give or take the DJ talking through the first 2 seconds of the song, so I got most of it! Inevitably my mom could be heard in the background, vacuuming or calling my name. Classic mom.

Our house was wall to wall red shag carpeting. Our afternoon snacks consisted of Twinkies, Ring Dings or Ding Dongs.  Although my mom did love to bake chocolate chip cookies. Those ended up going to my brother, which we found out later in life, he sold for $.25 each to his friends. He always was a good businessman.

My childhood was great!  We lived in a big white house at the end of a dirt road. The neighborhood was filled with kids my age. We’d go out early Saturday morning and come home when the street lights came on. We played Kick the Can, Twister, and used the Ouija board on more than one occasion, because apparently, we liked getting the sh*t scared out of us! Yah, I can’t swear in person or in writing. Thanks, Mom.

As a teen of the 80’s we had Lionel Richie and WHAM! We had Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson…the music of the 80’s was slap-you-in-the-face fantastic!

I felt so safe, so protected back then. I felt like I lived in a constant state of happiness. My mom was a full-time stay-at-home mom. She baked. She cooked. She helped with homework. She was there after school to ask how was our day. We had nightly family dinners without a television blaring in the background. Dinner time was family time. We talked about our day. We talked. We laughed. We were like a scene out of Leave it to Beaver.

My dad worked hard to provide a nice life for us. But he played hard too. He never, and I mean, never, put us off or brushed us aside. No matter how tired, how busy, how overwhelmed he might have been. He always had time to find a lost toy, to read a story, to make the biggest ice-cream sundae ever created on the face of the earth. He was, and will always be the benchmark to which I measure all men.

I didn’t quite realize until I had children of my own, what a blessing my childhood was. I strive every day to be like my mom; to raise my kids with the unconditional love and nurturing that I was given.

So yah, we have nightly dinners, and I try to do the no-TV rule, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes we do eat dinner in the living room.  Yes, I bake cookies and give the kids Twinkies and Ding Dongs…tossing in a little broccoli and carrots along the way, cause you know, I’m not a jerk. I get the whole healthy revolution that we’re in right now. And I do try.

I think about how great the 70s and 80s were, and I wonder if my children will feel the same way about their childhood.

They have iPhones, tablets and Minecraft, they have Monster High, Shopkins and American Girl dolls. But in the end, they have the unconditional love of their parents.

They have my heart. And once in a while, they have Devil Dogs.

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