The other day I was part of a discussion. A very wonderful discussion. With other women. Women of all ages. From various backgrounds.
We had some basic things in common, hence our ability to meet together. But we were all fairly unfamiliar with one another. Until we got together.
Our time began, and as women do, we talked.
About our lives. Specifically, our childhoods.
Each woman took her turn talking.
Everyone sat. Listened and laughed.
Because the childhoods we experienced were all very different.
But not different at all.
Because the childhoods we experienced were full of memories.
Of sunshine and summertime.
Of parents letting us explore our worlds.
Of silly games and make-believe.
Of singing and performing for imaginary fans.
Of forts and fence-hopping.
Of dares and dolls.
Of biking and baseball.
Of furry pets and funny pranks.
Of girlhoods long gone but not forgotten.
With every story, every memory, we laughed. We smiled in agreement and nodded in approval.
Because the childhoods we experienced, full of different strokes, when painted onto one big canvas, held a common theme. A theme that would have gone unseen by an untrained eye. A theme that is fading from today’s childhood experiences. A theme that shaped us into who we are today.
That theme, so precious, private and public, common and calming, is childhood.
Childhoods uncluttered with organized sports and planned out play-dates.
Childhoods free of technology and texting.
Childhoods void of hand-sanitizers and first-aid kits.
Childhoods without “get fit” programs and “get outside” initiatives.
Childhoods not chalk-filled with political correctness and lawsuits.
Childhoods basically absent of terrorism and offenders.
Today’s childhoods are not as stress-free. They are not as creative and independent. Instead, they are more restricted than ever. More difficult than difficult should be.
Childhood has changed.
In just a few short years.
But don’t lose heart.
Because the not-so-missing-link is us.
Children who grew up in a world so unlike today’s children.
Children who now have children and influence children.
Children who know how precious that childhood truly was.
Children who want that childhood for today’s children.
The women I sat with were of all different ages. At all different stages.
But our childhoods, held at different points in history, linked us together. Forever chaining us to childhoods of old. Begging us to connect our experiences to today’s children; to show them what we had and encourage them to take it for themselves. To create a real childhood.
And that’s a very good discussion to be part of. A very good discussion to link into actions.