I Survived Childhood Without a Cell Phone (and liked it!)by Ellen DuBois on 08/03/17
I am so glad I was born at a time when technology didn't rule my life. I played outside when the weather was good, and used my imagination inside when the weather was bad. Yes, I watched TV and there were some pretty good shows on. But, I also used my God-given imagination and with the help of books, Barbie dolls, HotWheels, listening to and playing music, I had a great time- a great childhood. If I wanted to see a friend, I walked to their house, knocked on the door and asked if "so and so" could come out and play. If I wanted to play a game, I interacted with my sisters and/or some friends. We talked. We laughed! If I wanted to share something with a girlfriend, we talked face to face either outside, sitting in one of our bedrooms or on the phone, (the one with a cord attached to it and mounted onto a wall). Oh, and when that same phone rang at dinner time, we weren't allowed to talk. It was dinner time and my sisters and I were expected to eat at the table, as a family. We communicated, listened, sometimes shared a laugh and had to clean our plates because poor people were starving and the thought of wasting food was a sin. (Admittedly, I often snuck pieces of what I didn't like under the table for the dog to enjoy.) When I rode my bike for the first time without training wheels, I smashed into a neighbor's car and they didn't sue us. When my mother wanted me to come home for dinner, I heard her voice because she had to yell for me, not call or text me. Oh, and I ran. I respected that call to come in. My girlfriend and I put on shows, dressed up in my mother's clothes, and that was entertainment! I knew the pure joy of playing in the rain in the summer, (provided there wasn't any thunder and lightening), and building snow forts in the winter until my mother called us in because before we turned blue from the cold. I explored the woods behind our house in the spring and marveled at the first flowers blooming in May. Scampering through the colored leaves of fall was a blast. Raking those leaves was not- but we did it. I rode my "Dill Pickle" bike and appreciated it. If I left it on its side at the base of the driveway, I was ordered to go get it and put it where it belonged. I respected what was mine and what belonged to others. I spent my childhood looking up, down, all around, seeing tall trees, the sky, the flowers. I stared at clouds as they changed shaped and caught fireflies at night. Fireworks were an amazing Fourth of July spectacle and getting a new pair of sneakers was a big deal! I even had "school clothes" and "play clothes". Why? Because I played, and played hard. The dirt and grass stains reflected that. The kids in my neighborhood didn't know what a "play date" was. We simply went outside to see who was around. Our neighbor's pool was a welcome oasis in the summertime. Snowball fights, building snowmen and watching snowflakes fall underneath the streetlight captivated me and made me smile. When my friends and sisters were busy, I found ways to entertain myself and grow. I did my homework, practiced the organ and piano, read books, sang to my parent's 45's and 33's in the "playroom" for hours. It was a real treat when I got to stay up past my bedtime when a special was on TV. When our neighbor's got Atari, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Pole Position and Mario Brothers were like a whole new world to me! I loved playing those games. But, there was a limit and I had to go home eventually. Those games were a treat and so much fun, but they weren't something I did every day. They weren't a way of life. Nope. I grew up playing hop scotch, scatter, tag, hide and seek, riding my bike, exploring the woods, walking to the store, going to the playground, picking up after myself, doing dishes, being with my family and so much more. I saw things some would consider simple, like rainbows, frogs, tadpoles, planes flying overhead, birds and countless other things through the eyes of a child who only knew how to look up and around, instead of constantly down at a tiny screen. And you know what? I'm so, so glad those are my childhood memories. - Ellen DuBois
Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!