It’s very nostalgic and almost touching to look back on my childhood. The memories made and the experiences had will inevitably shape the way I parent my children. The peculiar thing about my childhood is that everything that took place before it ended (around age 14 and shockingly enough when I got my first job) all seems like another world. Maybe it’s just the realization of my innocence, but I really felt like I was a different person. It’s like every decision I made had no consequences on what happens now. Yeah I got spanked a lot. No like a ton, but those actions that lead to the punishments all seem so distant and insignificant. Please enjoy the following excerpts from my past, and if you’re not into hearing me ramble about memories you don’t have to stay. I won’t be offended.
I mentioned spankings, and it’s funny how that’s probably the #1 topic of conversation that comes up when talking about my childhood to other people. I can see how this gives you a negative vibe on my parents, but they had such a long-term view of my life and knew a good spanking would help me out. They were right. I would get spanked for the dumbest stuff too. It came to the point that if my brother ran into my parent’s room crying for some random reason I’d be right behind saying, “DON’T SPANK ME I DIDN’T DO IT!!” I once got spanked three times in one day! My butt was so sore it was hard to sleep that night. Alas I was being quite the turd that day to deserve it. And yes I will spank my children if you’re wondering. If you don’t like it…bite me…but then again you probably wouldn’t bite me because you’re sensitive about abuse.
A huge part of my life revolves around Lego. Whether I was at home, in the car, at a friends house, and maybe once at church I had Legos with me. My brother Daniel was probably my best Lego Maniac pal, but David Bacon played a special role in the fun times we had around Lego. I always remember David as such an incredibly Lego hog and an obsessive 1up-er. He would build a Lego set out of our pieces and forbid us from taking it apart when he left our house for the day. I was intimidated, but I also wanted to preserve a relationship, so I left “his” Legos alone. I still crave a good Lego building session every now and then. My wife can certainly attest to this fact, because I inadvertently snubbed her whilst getting my Lego master builder skills on.
A very memorable part of my childhood involves adventures in the woods behind my parents house. My older brother Stephen was an avid builder and designer of anything he can get his hands on (maybe that’s why he was a residential construction major in college). He would spend hours a day in the woods with his friends Nathan and Philip. They’d construct massive forts for us younger kids to play in. Once he even dug a tunnel with several large chambers and reinforced it with 2×4’s and plywood. Impressive by anyone’s standards. Once he built a three story fort up in a massive oak tree, but the kicker is that it was solely supported by bailing twine. OSHA would’ve had a bigger fit than the one my father had if they saw it.
My parents weren’t health freaks like some parents today, but they definitely were conscious of our general health, but apparently not our happiness due to the fact that we hardly went to McDonalds at all growing up. When we did go though it seemed like Christmas. Happy meals were the stuff of legends, and us kids couldn’t get enough of those dirty, gross Play Places that always smelled of feet and band aids. My brother learned quite the vocabulary of curse words and vulgarity while playing in those McDonalds Play Places. Maybe that’s why we didn’t go very much.
My mother used to shop at a large department store called Value City. It has since closed for those wondering. Regardless, when my mom would shop she would shop. It wasn’t like every week she’d make a trip to the store to buy us kids socks and underwear. No, she’d wait weeks till our toes were popping through the holes in our socks before she’d shop for more. With all the needed supplies to be bought my mom would spend hours in Value City. As kids my brothers or any friends that we brought along would play hide and seek. The prime place to hide was those circular racks with long dresses or something fluffy to conceal you. However, it was a real buzz kill when an associate would drag us out and say over the loud speaker, “Susan Simpson please pick up your children at the front of the store.”
Out of all of these things I think the happiest I ever was as a child is when my grandfather, Grover Simpson, would come down from New Jersey to visit. We affectionately called him Beebop. He would always bring small toys and trinkets for his grandchildren, and then he’d take us out fishing or camping. He’d sometimes stay for a week or two at a time. My grandmother, Kay Simpson or Mom-mom to us, would typically stay in New Jersey due to health issues when Beebop came to visit, but I always remember pleading Beebop to stay just another night before going home to NJ. He’d always say,”Well first let me ask permission from the boss (Kay).” He’d walk into the other room where he’d call Mom-mom and without hesitation grumpily yell, “Hey Kay I’m staying another night or two Ok? Bye.” Then he’d walk into the room and act like it was such a chore trying to convince my grandmother into letting him stay. I loved the time spent with him. RIP Beebop 12/19/2012.
I think the reason my childhood seems like a different life is because of how good it was. There was literally no stress in my life until I reached high school and had stupid things to stress about for no reason. I really did have a great time growing up.
If this post did nothing for you but shed a little light on how I grew up and was raised I’ll be alright with that. At least it was good writing about the nostalgia of a well lived childhood.