How will my kid’s childhood be different from my own?

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With my son at his first Major League Baseball game while on our trip. He lasted 40 minutes before he was over it.
I read a blog post or tweet online a few years ago from a woman who was traveling from Portland, Oregon to LA with her kids. When their plane landed, one of the kids asked, “Mom, why is it so bright here?” The mom laughed and answered “Because it’s so sunny!”

I hadn’t thought of this in forever until I recently took a trip with my four-year-old. We went across the country to see my sisters, brother-in-law, and niece — flying from Oregon to Florida in the middle of a tropical storm, no less. Within moments of walking outside the airport my son turned to me and said, “Mom, why does my skin feel like this? Why is it so wet?”

For those of you who don’t know, the humidity in the southern US is a beast. It’s different from regular sweat — your skin is simultaneously damp and sticky, vaguely warm and mostly clammy, and you feel like every step you take in it is like taking a step through a blanket of moisture… because you are. I grew up in Alabama so I’m well-versed in the wonders of the humidity in the region, and though my son spent three years living in the South before we moved back to Oregon he didn’t remember this particular sensation. I was struck by the funniest feeling, and realized I’ve never considered what it will be like to raise my child in an entirely different environment — and largely different circumstances — than I was raised.

I grew up in trailers in Louisiana and Alabama, the oldest of four children who mostly steered clear of our ragey father, ran wild whenever we could, and did everything to avoid getting too many chigger bites. I was a gymnast for ten years and stomped over many a ball field while playing softball for the same time span. I was competitive and loud while playing sports, but shy and awkward everywhere else. I caught fireflies and set them free, picked up stray dogs from the side of the road where they had been abandoned only to have one of my parents re-abandon them days later. I grew up half in flea markets (where my parents had booths on the weekends) and half surrounded by red dirt.

My son has so far grown up in apartments and houses — first in Alabama, now in Oregon — with two emotionally mature and stable parents. He’s an only child, and though we have contemplated fostering children and/or adoption, it’s very likely he’s going to remain an only child. He can’t play contact sports due to a medical condition, and even if he could he’s not particularly interested. He likes to run wild outside, but his version of wild usually involves riding a bike to a river or patch of woods and exploring. He likes to carry a magnifying glass and stoops low to see what kind of life lives under rocks and in roots, and we have two dogs that we’ve adopted and/or been given. He’s growing up half in science museums and half on nature trails.

I know what it feels like to have apples all over the bottom of your bare feet because you can’t walk in your grandmother’s yard without stepping on at least a dozen. My son knows what it feels like to have mud caked so thick on the bottom of your shoes because everything’s just so wet all the time. I remember family trips to Florida, driving some 15 hours down the highway and sleeping in the back of the van only to wake up surrounded by wind, palm trees, and so much ocean you can’t stop seeing it. My son will remember family trips to the Oregon coast, making sure we’ve packed a sweater, raincoat, boots, sandals, t-shirt, jeans, shorts, and a light jacket each (because who knows what the weather will do).

We so far have a few childhood experiences in common — for instance, our family spends a lot of time in arcades and as a child I was something of an air hockey master — but I’m only beginning to understand just how different our tales of our individual childhoods and adolescence will be. There will be references my son just won’t get, because he probably won’t have the experience to go with them. Like, why would I have to drive two hours one-way to get to the nearest amazing concert venue a few times a year when bands he likes actually come to the town he lives in? For him, he’ll probably have his pick of in-town venues any night of the week.

I wonder if this is true for all parent-child relationships, even for those who are raising their kids in the same place they grew up (which is where their parents grew up, which is where their parents grew up)… or not? I’ve often heard that you can’t go home again, but it’s never occurred to me that I couldn’t take my kid there.

Comments on How will my kid’s childhood be different from my own?

  1. I think about this a lot, too. I grew up in a house in the country next door to my Grama and Popa’s house where there was a pool, huge yard, play house. We rode bikes, were outside a lot. I’m expecting my first born now and I live in an apartment in Toronto on one of the major roads of the city. We have not personal outdoor space but, of course, lots of public outdoor space. Sometimes it weirds me out. I can’t help but think sometimes that I’d like my daughter to grow up like I did outside in the country and the city was something special and mystical that we got to go to for special occasions. It’s also the place I escaped to to go to school, start my adult life. The more I think about it the more I realize it will just be opposite for my kids. They’ll grow up in the city and the country will be special for them, it will be an exciting escape and luckily my family is all still there so they can go any time they like. I still get creeped out about my kids going to a big city school versus a small country school, but I’ve got a few years before we really see how that impacts life!

  2. As a Florida native (who happens to love the feel of humidity and needing to basically swim to my car) preparing to give birth to an Oregonian baby, I can totally relate! I am still trying to figure out how to have a child as infatuated with the ocean as my husband and I are when there is probably only 2 days a year they can actually get in it. We both grew up beach bums, him a surfer, me a SCUBA diver, and have almost identical photos of our fathers taking us swimming in the ocean as tiny tiny infants (probably at the same beach, though we didn’t know it then), but a baby born in November in Oregon has almost no chance of getting that first interaction and it makes me sad. Warm beaches and tropical water will be vacations, not a necessary escape from sweltering heat :/

    • I will say this: while we don’t spend a lot of our time IN the ocean in Oregon, we do visit the coast a TON and it’s beautiful. There are so many beaches that are just gorgeous, and honestly.. a ton of little kids get in the water and don’t seem to mind. My son was totally surprised by the idea that we’d get INTO the ocean when we were in Florida (even though he spent 3 years at beaches in Florida and South Carolina before we moved), but he has a deep love for the ocean even though he doesn’t spend a lot of time in it.

      Also bonus: tickets to Hawaii are much cheaper than they would be! You can also snag amazing deals ($90/ticket) to San Diego in the winter.

      • I second this! My 18 month old spent a long time in the ocean this weekend (Oregon Coast) and we had to literally pull him away from it crying…but…hello hypothermia πŸ™‚

      • As a California native, I was SHOCKED when I visited Florida at age 27 and went wading in the Atlantic for the first time. The water… is… warm?!?!??! It was great, but completely different from my experience in Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay.

    • We lived in Oregon for my daughter’s first year, and Isla *loved* the beach. The coast is really beautiful. Cold and wet year-round, but that’s what jackets and blankets are for! I have great pictures of my daughter running barefoot on the beach with her grandpa and dad, so I don’t think it’s an impossibility. Just dress warmly! πŸ™‚

  3. I had *almost* reconciled myself with the idea that any child of mine would have a different experience than I did as I grew up in the UK and now live in Chicago. What I found interesting was that while I was still pregnant my husband expressed his sadness that our child wouldn’t have the same experience he had (he grew up about an hour south of Chicago).
    He wanted them to know what it’s like to live in a small-ish, country-ish town and go to the same school he did and live down the street from grandparents etc. I worry that they will have such a different experience than I did that I won’t be able to relate/connect with them. I guess, we can only do our best to recreate some similar experiences and hope that in the end they look back on their childhood with the same fondness that we do on ours.

    Not sure if this answers anything you posed πŸ™‚

  4. I dont have kids yet but when I watch my 3 and a half year old niece with technology I can see just how much of a difference that will make. Things like having to have any phone calls happen in the dining room in front of my family until I was 14. Reading the same books and watching the same videos over and over and over because there just wasn’t access to other options. Its scary to see just how much information she already has access to – things specifically designed for her age with tie-in apps and games etc. She was given a digital camera by a relative for her last birthday!!! Its quite strange to watch how my sister has to make a conscious choice to sit down and read a physical book with her so she knows that joy instead of reading off an e-reader. She has also known nothing but affluence so far, we were kids wearing hand-me-downs and sharing everything between 3 siblings. Her experiences have been already been so very different from ours. But at the end of the day there are some things that are timeless – i can jump on the trampoline with her and play the exact same games we played as kids and be just as happy for hours on end!!

  5. The last line (“I’ve often heard that you can’t go home again, but it’s never occurred to me that I couldn’t take my kid there.”) struck me the hardest. I was a Navy brat and so — until I was fifteen or so — I have never lived anywhere longer than 2 years. My son, on the other hand, has never lived more than a few blocks in any direction of the Capitol Building. He was born with roots, I make mine up. He would be happy to stick to this city for his whole life as every street is another link to his life. I am always looking for the perfect fit and never quite finding it. Some places fit one part of me, others fit another, but nothing fits the entire person I’ve grown to be as a result of a gypsy (said with honor) childhood. But, the biggest thing that final line generated for me is that I literally can’t show my son where I grew up. Having lived most of my childhood on military bases, I’m not even allowed to see them myself anymore. Oh, sometimes I Google old military housing addresses online and can find the occasional photograph, but that’s about as close as I’ll ever be able to go to share where I grew up with my son. It’s okay, though. His roots are holding me still now, too.

    • Oh yes! I am an Army brat. I moved around a lot growing up and my extended family was never nearby. I loved my childhood, I got to see a lot of Australia and live in some very different parts of the country.
      It is likely that when I have children, they will live in the same city for most (if not all) of their childhood, close to cousins and extended family. While of course that sounds amazing, it is just so different to the childhood I experienced. (And I still get super itchy feet every couple of years I’m in the same house.)

  6. I grew up in Texas, and for the last few years lived in Oregon, and that hot, sticky feeling was one of my favorite things to feel coming out of the Dallas airport on our trips back to visit family. It’s the first thing that really says to me that I’m home. πŸ™‚

    I’ve thought a lot about this, the difference between my childhood and my daughter’s. I grew up in a small Southern town. My parents were mostly stable, but we didn’t have a lot of money and they fought a lot (divorced twice, but remarried when I was in high school and have been married since.) My daughter on the other hand has always lived in a city and until this week in Oregon, with 2 extremely stable, well-educated and well-off parents. I wonder a lot about how this will impact her values and her worldview. I hope growing up what to me seems wealthy doesn’t cause her to lose respect for working class people and those who live in poverty and that she won’t take her privileged upbringing for granted. I hope she grows up knowing what a tremendous head start she’s had in life, and that she becomes a generous, compassionate and humble woman. I can take her back to the place where I grew up, but she’ll never experience it the way I did. She may never know many people who are poor and may never see them as anything other than a stereotype, and that makes me sad, because while my circumstances are different now, on the inside, that’s still very much part of who I am. In addition to general character, I’m worried about how/if she’ll relate to me.

    Other times, I have simpler wishes that she could have all the great experiences I had living in the country, playing for hours in fields and in the woods with little supervision, and having a huge extended family close at hand, with lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents around. I’m lucky that I’m still close to most of that extended family, so she gets to experience that occasionally, but it’s not like when I was growing up where I saw my entire family every Saturday and Sunday and periodically had cousins living with us. Those parts of my childhood were idyllic, and I wish my daughter could have that.

    This was such a great post and brought up so many emotions and memories for me. Thank you for sharing!

    • I can relate so much to this. I’m working to chip away at a cycle of inter-generational poverty in my family, and right now my partner and I are better off than anyone in my family has ever been, period. We support my mom and brother, we’ve both earned college degrees, and hell–we are able to put food on the table every.single.night.

      It’s a completely different experience from my childhood, living with my family of five in a single dingy motel room for much of my childhood, drinking the water from the tub spout because it tasted better than the water from the sink, eating bologna fried on a hot plate with a little packet of bbq sauce from McDonalds. Reveling in the deliciousness of white toast with butter after a weekend of little to no food.

      Of course, I’m deliriously happy that, more than likely, our daughter will never, ever know that kind of hunger. On the other hand, though, I know that those experiences shaped my values so profoundly, and I desperately want my daughter to share those values. It’s tough.

  7. I don’t have kids yet, but this has been on my mind a lot lately, as I prep to leave my home for the past 8 years and move even further from my hometown (and my partner is leaving his hometown with me). And we’ve been talking about having kids soon, too.

    Even though I spent a lot of my childhood in the same exact house my mom grew up in, our childhoods were vastly different, so I’m not sure I ever thought that my potential future kids’ childhoods would be very similar (for instance, I’ve worked very hard at ensuring that I am as financially secure as my grandparents were and got the college education that they did; my parents are poor and never went to college).

    But still, it is likely that my kids will never call soda ‘pop’ or have the experience of growing up in the Midwest. They’ll probably think that my hometown (or, city) is farmland, even though their home city will probably be many times smallerβ€”it’s just that east coast prejudice. But at the same time, we’ll experience their hometown together, and so we’ll have those shared experiences, and I hope I can use my own experiences elsewhere to broaden their horizons, even if they don’t have those experiences directly.

  8. The kid I’m incubating will be a second-generation Kid of Different Childhood. My mother grew up in poverty in the Brazilian northeast– poverty like, “some nights there was no dinner” poverty. She’s one of nine siblings.

    My brother and I grew up comfortably middle class– first in Brazil, then in Miami, where we moved when I was 10. While we still lived in Brazil, we always lived super close to extended family– like, in the same apartment building close– but that changed when we immigrated. The closest relatives we had lived in Orlando, a four-hour drive from Miami, and even they moved back to Brazil after three years.

    I’ve since moved to Scotland, and now Boston. My folks still live in Miami, and half a dozen of my 20 cousins (that I grew up playing with) have moved to the US. One lives in Chicago, and the rest live in Miami.

    My parents tell me what it was like growing up in circumstances I’ve never had to face. There are almost no pictures of my mom before the age of 12, but she has many, many stories that I still love to hear.

    My kid will hear stories from his/her grandparents growing up on three different continents, and from mom and dad about growing up dual citizens (because believe it or, Husbeast has a similar background– just substitute US/Switzerland for Brazil/US) and making big changes and learning Big New Things.

    I’m really looking forward to this. Exploring and learning is such a Life Value for me that it would feel like hindering my kid to bring it up in the same place I grew up. And I honestly hope that my family can make another major continental move so Kid can learn all about being a Citizen of Many Places first-hand.

    (Which I just realized was the defining characteristic of my childhood, and the thing I hope to pass on much more than a specific place. Huh.)

  9. I grew up on Army bases as a young kid and spent a lot of my time outside and exploring from the time I was three or four. All the kids roamed together around the base, down to the river, out to the bowling alley, through the woods or out in the parade field. I had friends from a variety of races, cultures and backgrounds (until my parents moved off the base and out into the country where everyone was white and had lived in the same place their entire lives). My son, on the other hand, will probably not experience the kind of freedom that I did, not because I don’t want him to go out and explore on his own, but because other parents don’t really let their kids do that, at least not until they’re 9 or 10-years-old. I’ll let him have the freedom that he wants, but I do hope he’ll be able to find friends with parents who allow their kids the same freedom. As for diversity, we live in a relatively diverse city, though nothing like what you see on a military base, so exposing him to other races and cultures will be something that we’ll have to be purposeful about. The other major difference will be geographic. I grew up on the mid-Atlantic coast and north eastern U.S. mostly, but we live in Texas now and probably will for awhile. The people are different. The geography is different. The weather is different. We used to go camping several times a year, which consisted of driving an hour or two and being in the woods, getting cold at night, etc. Camping where we live in Texas means driving at least three hours (8 hours to get to the really good spots like Big Bend,) more desert landscapes and packing battery-operated fans because it’s so F-ing hot all the damn time (I’m not bitter or anything :)). We’re taking my son on his first trip to the northeast this summer though and even though he’ll be too young to remember it, I’m so excited to bring him back to my old stomping ground.

  10. I love this! I have been thinking a lot about experiences for my son, and how he will most certainly get to visit places I did as a kid, but how different they will be. And I’ve been thinking about how I want to give him experiences of his own, instead of just trying to re-create lovely memories from my childhood. So, am I taking him to Mt. Rainier because I think it will be a fantastic adventure (and it’s a place I love), YES, but I don’t want him to have the pressure to love it because mommy loved it as a kid.

  11. My working class English mother and farm-raised American father grew up, not only very differently from each other, but entirely different from the way I was raised. But I feel like I understand a lot of their upbringings and environments from stories and visits. It’s not even close to experiencing it, but as kids grow, they’ll begin to at least understand it more. πŸ™‚

  12. Yes! I’m due in September and I grew up in rural West Virginia and now live in suburban Southern California. I really appreciate your reflections and it’s nice to see that this is such a common experience. Makes me think of the Kimya Dawson lyrics: “i was sitting on a couch somewhere watching vh-1
    when i found out that bruce springsteen is his mother’s only son
    i’m my mother’s only daughter and we were both born to run
    even he says it’s amazing raising babies in the place where you come from” which always make me a little emotional. πŸ™‚

  13. I’m raising my kids just 50 miles from where I grew up, and I can’t even comprehend the differences! I grew up in a small town, buried in an oppressive religion, surrounded by violence, and with plenty of financial worry. My kids have parents who barely even believe in discipline and definitely don’t believe in organized religion. Still, I wait for the day when one of them says, “Why can’t you just stay home?” as I’m on my way to work. I kind of think they’d ask it now if they weren’t only three months old. I wonder if I’ll share my vision of them at 14 walking along the canal in Amsterdam. A better life than I had. The whole world.

    I’m sure they’ll have moments of wishing for younger siblings to play with, a built-in religion to answer life’s questions, and fitting in better with their family members. But I’m hopeful that a culturally rich urban life in which they’ll be allowed to make most of their own choices will suit them well.

  14. Oh, yes! My son will grow up probably in Portland, too, and one of the things I worry about is how to give him a sense of necessity and real responsibility. We grew up below the poverty line on a mountain in West Virginia, and we *had* to participate in our family’s livelihood–hauling firewood, shelling peas, butchering deer, etc…. But we also had a real sense of freedom to roam, to go out on adventures (“take the dog in case of rattlesnakes”) and I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything. Now I’m mourning my own uprooting all over again–for his sake.

  15. Although I am only an hour drive away from where I grew up, the life I am building is very different, and at the same time, much the same.

    I grew up in a very homogeneous white, middle-class suburb in the northeast. We were comfortable but not rich. Vacations were up or down the East Coast. I did not meet many people who were not white or Judeo/Christian until college.

    When I got to college I was amazed by the different life experiences of people from the rest of the country and world. I sort of became obsessed with hearing people’s stories and learning about the world. I have traveled throughout the country and internationally as an adult and I love learning from other’s lives.

    I have also committed myself to fighting poverty through education. This decision has put me living in a large city for the foreseeable future. I want to have city kids who know how to take public transportation and are surrounded by people who come from all different backgrounds (racially, economically, culturally and religiously). I want to take them on international trips and expose them to more of the world as children than I knew. At the same time my career means that I will have more limited means than my parents so I will not have as much material comfort to offer my kids.

    Ultimately though, I want to raise them in a loving and stable household, educate them to respect others and the planet, and to be self sufficient, which is what my parents did for me.

  16. Thank you for posting this! I now live in a different continent to the one I grew up in, and although I love living here, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my potential future child will have a different identity than me. Although I love living here, and made the move by choice, it saddens me to think that the country I still call ‘home’ will not be the same country that my child will call ‘home’. Your last sentence is so true – I suppose the only thing to do is to embrace and create my family’s new home, while remembering the old one as important, but past.

  17. My dude and I have spent a lot of time talking about how we want our kids’ lives to be different when we get to that stage, but I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about what I think they might miss. I grew up in a big old house in the country, outside a small town, still fairly close to a relatively small city. I got to roam around by myself a lot, often out of sight of my mom, checking out the donkeys and horses, roaming through the brush or playing in the garden, or head to the farm with Dad and roam around there, play with wood, etc. I went to a small town school. My dude grew up in the city but was mostly left to his own devices. Our kids are most likely to grow up in a city, maybe in a house, maybe in an apartment. They probably won’t be allowed to roam around unsupervised as much as my dude and I were, but I hope they will see the benefits to easier access to multiple activities and different cultural events and spaces. I hope that some things will be the same, though. I hope that we can provide space for their imagination to create the world around them, teach them the joys of exploring outside, let them try different activities, spend time poking around a library or playing in the kitchen.

    For my own sanity, I hope we don’t end up moving somewhere super humid because neither my husband nor I cope overly well with it. But even though I live close to where I grew up, it’s already more humid here than it was when I was a child. The landscape is changing, the city getting bigger, fewer farms and more land divided up for acreages. My kids won’t have the experience of meals in the field at harvest or riding in a combine, but I will have to make a point to show them where food comes from so they are never shocked at the idea of beef coming from a cow or bread from a wheat field.

  18. My mother and I grew up in the same city- almost 40 years apart. While geographically things are the same, the landscape of the area is extremely different. While she remembers orchards and getting summer jobs picking fruit and biking around the region, I remember Lots of retirement homes and practically living on the beach (By the way, I’m surprised beaches in other places are warm. Ours is warm only in the dog days of august, but then again I’m Canadian).

    My son, though he’s only two, is living in a very similar life so far. The only thing is that I have far less money then the previous generations. I hope to move within the next few years though, so maybe changes are to come.

  19. I’m raising my daughters on the same road I grew up on. They frequent my parents’ house (the house I grew up in) and we live in a house that I visited rather often as a child. I was raised in the middle class and my husband and I are middle class. There are differences, of course – for example, we are intending to home-educate – but overall it’s a very similar childhood. The area is no more developed than it was when I was a kid. Most of the neighbors are the same people and most of our social network are people that Donald and I grew up with, so there’s a strong sense of continuity and community in our lives. The canyon is the same canyon I grew up in (although fewer kids seem to play in the creek alone these days, which I find a little sad), I take my kid to many of the same playspaces I frequented as a child, and we parent very similarly to how my parents did.

    I’ve never really felt like I couldn’t go home again lol so I suspect that for the most part my children’s childhood will feel similar to my own…but I’m sure we’ll still have moments where something I just take for granted as a part of life seems novel and curious to the kids. They’re just growing up in different times, you know? One of my neighbors used to have a feeling garden for the kids – big pots just filled with textured plants like grasses and sensitive ferns and so on – and even though it was a cornerstone of my childhood, it’s gone now. I know that things like that will always exist and that there will be moments where I’m stupefied by the absence of something in their lives, but as a whole I think it’s going to be very similar.

    • We live on the road my husband grew up on! It’s sometimes wonderful to see the continuity among generations – same playgrounds, same ice cream, same pizza, same beaches, even the same crazy neighbors who keep us up with weird construction projects – but I sometimes worry about the oversaturation of our son’s life with someone else’s. I fled my hometown as soon as I could, and never looked back, so I take a special joy in crafting my own space and experiences now that I am in a place I chose. Will my son feel ownership of where we live – a beautiful suburb outside Portland, Maine – or will he just want to run away and have his own space later? As a child, I worry that my husband and his family will push for him to have the same experiences as his Dad and uncle did, and that I might end up hurting feelings by pushing for our son to have his own new, different experiences. I do console myself with the fact that our city is evolving and changing, and a lot of opportunities will be different. Even though we are “home,” it is already a different place from what it was five years ago, much less twenty or thirty. There’s no stopping our human momentum…

  20. I’m in Portland too and actual marvel at how similar my son’s childhood is to mine so far. My husband and I are around the age my parents were when they started a family. My dad grew up in SE Portland, so did I, and now I’m raising my sons here (technically in Gresham at the moment). We vacation the same places I went growing up. Make the same foods. I had a great childhood, so it’s comforting. In my case, it IS going home again. Having kids has also brought my extended family closer.

  21. What a neat perspective- it makes you think about the good things from your childhood that you would want your own child to experience, if possible. Also the realization that you are giving your son a whole different set of experiences! Thanks for the peak inside your thoughts!

  22. No time to comment in full, but I just wanted to say, I really enjoyed this and found it thought provoking.

  23. My daughter is growing up in the same city that I did, but it will be a completely different experience for her, because she will have grandparents and I didn’t. My parents were both wanderers, and left large extended families in New England for a life on the West Coast. When I was growing up, grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles were all people that I saw once a year at most, when we’d go back to Maine each summer to visit. I love my extended family dearly, and even if we’re not close, there’s still a common bond over those summers in Maine. But my daughter will have the experience of seeing her grandparents not once a year, but every week. She’ll have an aunt who lives just a city bus ride away, and since my sister just got married, that means eventually cousins to play with all year round. I have no idea what it feels like to grow up with so much family, and I have to admit I’m a little jealous of her. But I also worry that for her, the family back East will be even more removed than it was for me. We won’t be able to spend every summer visiting my extended family, because we have my husband’s relatives to visit as well. What if she falls in love with his family’s mountains instead of my family’s ocean?

  24. So many things in this article & the comments chime a bell. My husband is Canadian, I’m from New England and now we live in central London (UK). Couldn’t be more different from where we both grew up respectively. We travel as much as we can, to North America & around the world, try to expose our 3 year old to as much as we can & give her places & spaces where she can roam. But as long as we live here she’ll have neither that freedom of roaming round the neighbourhood/forest or the connection to family who live down the road/across town. On the other hand she’s getting a multitude of experiences I never did. My family didn’t even go on holidays – I think we went camping a couple of times. The flip side of that is that my little girl is an urban middle class kid: knows we get cappucinos in cafes, asks to eat at restaurants, sometimes suggests we take a taxi instead of walking and thinks we can buy anything we need. Not quite but from what she can tell from our lifestyle of stopping at the local shops for daily food I guess it seems like it. I know she’s a little young to get it now, but I hope she will learn to understand that this isn’t how most people live & certainly not how her very working class mama grew up.

  25. Thought provoking! I think it is cool to get to re-live some of my favorite childhood things with my kids, such as Mister Rogers and Sesamee Street, baby dolls and legos. But in other ways, it is really cool to be writing a totally different story for/with them. What a beautiful photo of you and your son! Thank you so much for writing this and making me think…

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