Childhood Memories: Growing Up

I literally wore out my VHS copy.
I'm always seeing this kind of junk on facebook:

“Like” If you were a 90’s kid!

“Remember this fad when we were kids? Go 90’s!”

“Our childhood was so much better than yours.”

“We (90's kids) had obnoxious toys and got over not having an ipod.”

That last sentence reminds me of some crabby grandfather going off about walking to school uphill both ways in the snow.
It's true – kids are kind of spoiled these days, but I really don’t remember the music, the fads, or the stars from the 90’s. I was soooo not mainstream.

I do remember the movies – I had The Lion King memorized before I even started pre-school. In fact, my dad dropped me off the first day of school and asked me if I was nervous and I retorted, “Hakuna Matata, Daddy.” Winnie the Poo had a special place in my heart, right next to my built-in best friend; my fuzzy-haired brother, Nate.
I think I broke a little boy’s heart when I informed him that Santa Clause wasn’t real. I’m pretty sure he burst into tears and took a swing at me. Sorry, kid. Did you seriously think a fat man came down your chimney?

One of Sarah's first litters of puppies and Josh as a
little fart... as you can see, he's pretty ornery!
I guess I was obsessed with Barney, and I had a wooden corral and a swing-set that my daddy built for me, and a Radio Flyer red wagon that I pulled Nate around in. We moved back to Nebraska and I got a dog and another little brother. The dog was a border-collie named Sarah and the brother was a chubby little comedian named Josh. This was in 1997 – we were homeschooled and I guess I watched Veggie Tales instead of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

 My brothers and I spent a lot of time outside playing in the dirt with our tractors. I went to Kindergarten already knowing how to read, and I could quote an arsenal of movies and Bible verses. Dad was gone a lot, being a sort of traveling carpenter, so I was also quite adept at playing Black Jack, Dominoes and several other card games with my mom. By this point I had another brother, Jake, and a horse, Champ; both of whom tried my patience, but I adored them just the same.

So really, the so called glorious 90’s of my childhood existed long before I gave a crap about scrunchies and lipgloss – I did most of my “growing up” in the early 2000’s. 

Left to Right: Jake on Champ, Josh on Rope,
Nate on Pep and Jeanna on Joker
I started rodeo and learned to drive. I watched TV Land and CMT. I memorized the book of James, plowed through the Little House on the Prairie series and dreamed of being a writer someday. I met my first love – a sandy little buckskin named Joker.  We had our ups and downs, but he taught me a lot of valuable life lessons.

I guess was a different kind of “90’s kid” because I grew up immersed in agriculture. The newest toys, the latest fashion, and “who was who” in middle school didn’t have any kind of impact on my life.

I was learning how to tie a goat and can tomatoes. I was getting up before the sun to help Dad and the other ranch hands move cattle. I was riding on the grain cart with my grandmother, helping my uncle harvest milo.
I remember my first bike and my first gun and my first County Fair as a participant.

What I don’t remember being devastated about was “missing” an episode of TV or not having the latest cool toy.

As I’m finishing up my college degree and planning to marry the love of my life, I still have no idea what I want to be when I “grow up”…but as I reflect on these things I realize that there was one thing I always did want to be, and that’s to be the same thing my hero was to me; a wife and a mother. 

Learning to make homemade Ice Cream with my Grandma. It was a
birthday tradition!!
It’s hard to make decisions as an adult, and some of what I’m facing now is trying to find a viable means of employment that will allow me to be an active parent in the life of my children, whilst providing them with everything they need to be happy and healthy. I want to raise children that hold imagination, ingenuity, spontaneity, integrity and hard work in the same level of esteem that I do.

My family has never had money running out of their ears; in fact, there were times we were barely getting by. But I’ve always considered my childhood rich. It is filled with precious memories, important lessons and unconditional love. 

In our technologically advanced world, I would just like to extend a reminder to take a moment to plant some flowers, or bask in the sunshine for a moment. Encourage imagination and problem solving not only in your children (if you have any) but in the people around you.

Have a Happy Day!

~Danger Out

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