Saturday, April 26, 2008

What Do You Mean You Were Real People?

Do your children see you as a real person? I would be very surprised if you said yes. In our children's eyes we are forever typecast as parental units. They cannot imagine that we were once young and hip.

Photo taken in the year 5 B.C. (before children)

I've always balked against this typecasting and have repeatedly reminded my children that I once rode a motorcycle. A very big motorcycle. The idea seemed so shocking to them that they immediately filed it in their mental trash file. Yeah, right mom.

The Farmer and I have also discussed his skydiving adventures and my muscle cars. I'll admit it's probably a little difficult to imagine your mom taking people off the line or cleaning carburetors, but it's true.

My daughter was home from college recently and imagine my surprise when she actually started questioning me about the good old days. Is she thinking about us in a different light? That's a new development.

Her question was concerning the 60's and the 70's.

"What was it like mom? Were you there for the summer of peace and love?"

What she didn't know was that at that time I was working for a company that was under government contract.

"No, I couldn't go to Woodstock because I was busy working on a project. I had a top secret government clearance. Did you know that?"

If you want watch a kid flip out just tell them something like that.

I'm encouraged that perhaps she is understanding that we did indeed have a life before kids. And sometimes that life was pretty darn interesting.

My take on the 60's would fill a book. It's a Gordian knot and we'll talk about it more another time.

NOTE: The really bad photo of us was taken in the Other Mother's kitchen. This is in the 70's. Note the beads hanging behind us. I sewed that red cowl neck dress myself! And YES, I really did have a top secret clearance! If you're reading this on April 26th I'm playing Woodstock by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.


Paula Bauer said...

Ooohhh...dig that cowl-neck dress. I remember my first cowl-neck sweater - felt so 'hip' (very important in jr. high!)

The Other Mother was pretty hip herself to be sporting a beaded curtain. How cool is that?!

You are an amazing woman...all these latent talents and past wonder I love reading your blog! I would have never guessed you were into muscle cars!

My eldest child is finally getting a clue that her dad and I were 'people' before she existed. Heck, even I forgot that fact a few times in the mind-numbing years of diapers, pat-a-cake and a zillion readings of 'Good night Moon' and 'Old McDonald' I think it sometimes takes distance and a few years out of the house to gain that insight.

Rue said...

I have the same issue with my kids, but I can understand their dismay. My mom told me when I was a teenager that she was a go go dancer at the Whiskey in L.A. That was a little shocking LOL

My kids have a hard time believing that I was ever anything but susie homemaker and laugh when I tell them I used to be cool. "Yeah right mom!" LOL

Have a great weekend,
rue :)

Cottage Magpie said...

My son is still 4 and a half, so he's only just realizing that I used to be a kid at all! :-) I'm sure my "uncool" days are ahead of me, despite the fact that in my 20's I was a bridge-jumping, scuba-diving, white-water-rafting. I'm too old for all that now. :-)
~Angela :-)

Edie Marie's Attic said...

My kids somehow got an impression that I was a perfect angel when I was young. I owned a '68 Mustang and then a '70 Corvette and I also rode on the back of a motorcycle! I had my share of fun in the 60's and 70's but I worked at the phone company and could not be a part of the "hippie movement"! I chose to be a responsible person with a job.
I just love your site! I can identify with so many things you say and I'm a city girl! Go figure!
Hugs, Sherry

Suzanne said...

Paula - I'm sure the cowl neck will make a come-back. That beaded curtain thing was actually a room divider. Yes, it was pretty hip at the time. Very Brady Bunch. I was, and still am, what the neighbors call a gearhead. My favorite car was my 1970 Chevelle SS396, which satisfied my need for speed and muscle.

Rue - I might have met your mom if she'd danced in the Chicago Whiskey-A-Go-Go club. Believe me, your mom had to be awesomely cool to be a dancer at that place.

Angela - BRIDGE JUMPING???? Oh my gosh. I hope your mom didn't know about this!!

Sherry - I bet you looked adorable in the Mustang. I also had a Vette, but mine was the worst lemon ever made. I couldn't even make lemonade out of it. Working at the phone company was one of the cool jobs back then. Working for the airlines was the premier job, remember? It doesn't matter if we live in the city or in the middle of nowhere, we share experiences and we all have the same challenges in our lives. I'm so glad you found my site. I'm thankful for all my cool readers!

BittersweetPunkin said...

I love it when the kids ask if I was young during the "black and white time on TV" no....we had color tv....