As my kids get older, I am beginning to notice certain parallels between their childhood experiences and my own. Of course, they will never have the chance to experience the pure goofy joy that only a child of the 70s can understand, but they have their own spirit of weirdness that will surely serve to someday make them superior to their own offspring.
It will be interesting to see if the parallels I see between my youth and theirs will carry on to the next generation. I’d also like to know if any of this nonsense was employed by the generation that bore us, although I suspect that they were much too sensible for such folly, what with the depressing depression and all.
We had this thing about naming things in a somewhat… shall we say… uninspired manner. There was a corner of our backyard that had no purpose other than to put stuff. It wasn’t like Sanford and Sons stuff, there were no old broken Ford pick ups or dilapidated toilet seats, but it was a place for junk and was thus called… The Junky Place. The other side of our backyard was where you could find The Path. If ever you were lost on a desperate quest to get from Bettswood to Morgan, you needn’t have feared, for there was A Path.
My kids have names for certain areas of our yard and neighborhood as well. There’s The Poo Patch, which needs no further explanation. And there’s Bunny Corner, also no mystery there but you’d better hold tight to the reins when you walk the dog around that bend.
As kids, we once found a dead squirrel still clutching the wee branch that had been unable to save it from the death drop to our front yard. We had a very elaborate funeral service for this poor critter, whom we named “Squirrely Taylor”.
My kids name their stuffed animals. Let’s see, there’s Big. And Little. There’s Yellowey. There’s Brownie. There’s Big Bunny. And of course there’s Art-Art. Say that one out loud, from your diaphragm. Art-Art is a seal.
Tonight when my girl set the table (she remembered everything except silverware), she commented that we always sit in the same spots. I was all: “yeah, those are our SPOTS.” Duh. I had to draw them a diagram of the spots we had around our table of eight growing up. Dad-Ann-Me-Ellie-Mom-Julie-Jane-MB (Counter-clockwise from dad). I only griped briefly about the injustice that forced Jane and me onto the lowly stools. We were too young and insignificant to be worthy of seats with backs. Ageists!
Coreys: my girl offered me the perfect set-up by asking “What shape was your table?” all together now: NICE OVAL!
The most striking evidence of our parallel experiences has got to be the faces. Julie was the master, dedicating countless hours to the perfection of her face contortions in front of the bathroom mirror, but all of us had an unusual tendency to punctuate most sentences with a ligering and inexplicably gooberific face. And God help me, my kids do it too.
But the best one is the singing. Singing along, singing out, and singing things that might more traditionally be said. Tonight, someone sang: “I have fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaactions in my hoooooooooooooooooooooomework!” Complete with operatic inflections and dramatic arm choreography.
Top that, children of 2030.