It’s Amazing I Lived Through It

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in Mothering | 0 comments

This post goes out to all my friends raised in the 80s by parents just like mine. Alas, it was a different era.

After taking all three minors to the splash park today and surviving (although I did use that brief lightening strike and clap of thunder to make them hurry up FOR REAL), we went for lunch at my parents’ house. Potstickers, egg rolls and spicy fried rice consumed and dishes were being done when I mentioned how certifiably insane it feels to take three kids out in public, which made us all remember that one time in Hawaii.

Back when I was five…

I was five when my dad managed a work center that included a woman who was, in the truest sense of the word, certifiable. They’d known she was nuts since the time she laughed like a crazy witch in the middle of a military emergency action message. That message was disregarded. She was transferred to a different work center, one that didn’t involve top secret data.

The new work center was great for parties, though, complete with barbecue pits and horseshoes and the standards were just a bit more lax. Just a bit. One Saturday, all the families were out for a party. It was hot out and we weren’t at the beach, so I wanted to cool off. Sitting inside the work center was perfect – plenty of paper and writing utensils while the air conditioner hummed away. Perfect save one detail – the insane woman was working.

I came running out of the building, straight to my dad and said “That crazy lady in there is talking to herself.” Trying to reassure me, he reminded me that she was on the radio, but I cut him off, “Daddy, I know what radio talk sounds like and she’s not talking on the radio!” Laughter started to roll around the party as the adults sneaked back in to find the woman talking to herself and repeatedly pressing down a button that made the paper feed shoot the paper up into the air and then gather in a heap of ribbon-ed mess on the ground.

Remembering the story together and thinking about leaving my own kid alone with a nut job while I barbecued outside made me ask my parents why they would ever leave me alone with somebody like that. They laughed and shrugged their shoulders and reminded me that I was hot and it solved my immediate problem. They were right, of course, and I wasn’t in any immediate danger or anything, but really?! It’s a pretty hilarious memory now.

What about you? Did your parents allow stuff that you’d never let your kids do? Or, were they too involved and now you’re super lenient with yours? Is this the normal ebb and flow of parenting styles? What’s your take?

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