Following on the heels (or trunks) of elephant paintings and colorful scribbles created by chimpanzees which fooled some art experts and world-renowned museums, we now have, finally, the first seeds of appreciation for the powerful and dynamic, soul-lifting scuptures cows and other hooved critters craft from their salt licks. Dunno about you but I'm pleased and relieved these outstanding artistic creations are finally receiving the recognition they deserve.
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue-cheese dressing, and tuna from a can. They didn't get tested for Diabetes and there are no Ultrasound photos of us in the womb.
We slept on our tummies, in baby cribs layered with lead-paint. We had no child-proof medicine bottles, doors or cabinets.
We rode in cars as infants and children with no car-seats, booster-seats, seat-belts or air-bags. We got older and rode our bikes without helmets. We even...hitch-hiked! No one drove us to school in an SUV. A special treat on a warm, summer day was to ride in the back of a pick-up truck. We never fell out.
We drank water from the garden hose, not a plastic bottle. We hared one soft-drink with four friends, and we all drank from the ame bottle. No one actually died from this.
We ate white bread and real butter. We drank whole-milk and Koolade made with 'too much sugar.' But we weren't overweight because we got plenty of exercise playing outside. School recess was mandatory, twice a day, and always outdoors.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day -- as long as we were home before dark.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We spent hours building our go-carts out of scraps. We'd drive down a hill, and would be surprised to find there were no brakes. We ran into the bushes, and learned how to solve the problem...by ourselves.
We fell out of trees, got bruises and cuts and broken bones...and we lost teeth. There were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate mud-pies and worms. The worms did not live inside us forever. We kicked-the-can, made up games with an old tennis-ball and a stick. Contrary to what we were told, we never put out someone's eye.
We had Little League tryouts, and not everyone made the team. Those who weren't picked, and their parents, learned to ''deal with'' the disappointment....And it was unheard of for a parent to bail us out of jail. If we broke the law, they actually sided with the law.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, or X-Boxes. We did not have 150 cable-channels, or color-TVs, or VHS, or DVDs. Nor did we have CDs, Walkmans, surround-sound, personal computers, Internet, chat-rooms or...cell-phones. Instead, we went outdoors. We rode our bikes, or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door, sometimes just to talk.
There are more ''things'' for children today. But we had the most important thing a child can have. We had the freedom to fail....We are generations of risk-takers, problem-solvers and independent thinkers. We have created an explosion of ideas and innovation. We learned "to deal with it all," perhaps because as children we didn't "have it all."
Thanks and a hat tip to my friend in Hammond, Indiana
Also, I would add, that I survived having my feet xrayed in the shoe store, even thought it was fun!