I know a great many of you are young Mums. And just as things were different when your parents raised you, and their parents raised them, so it is now as you raise your children today. It is only natural, as I wander down vintage and antique pathways (that still has me howling with laughter when I try to find toys I played with on line - 50 years ago? Vintage? Antique? ) The secret is managing to take the best of all those years with you into the future, combined with the knowledge you gain from reading and experience. You will work it out.
I have always dealt with any crisis in my life, large or small, by searching for and immersing myself in information. Too much at times. I am living in the right age for this, aren't I?! I love it. The tricky bit, though, is sifting through it all, avoiding overload, and finding the right balance. Life is all about balance. And instinct.
I had a little play desk when I was a pre-teen. And a blackboard. We LOVED to play school you, see. Do kids today want to play "school"?? Paper, crayons, pens, chalk....bliss. My desk had a pine top which flapped open, and a groove along the top for pens. It had blue metal legs, or a frame - and a chair to match. So I looked for a picture on the internet. Right. Google images - a gold mine.
Sigh. That little desk makes me smile. I think I taught my dolls school. My mother says I didn't play much with dolls - I always had my nose in a book. I know I made my little sister sit there and taught her school. That is probably why she is a genius, you know. I take all the credit. Being the oldest had some advantages.
Mum and I were talking about the things she played with in the 1930's too. She remembers having a teddy bear on wheels which she could ride on, a blue scooter with red wheels, a baby doll with a china face, a doll's house, and later a fairy cycle. And books. Always books. She says that she and her brother and cousins loved making mud pies, playing on their scooters or bikes, and that they always seemed to be outside. She doesn't recall having friends round to play, but says that on Friday nights they took turns going to each other's homes to play cards.
Every summer, my grandparents moved to the beach to a house in Fish Hoek, and she and her cousins and my uncle spent their summers on the beach. What a wonderful way to spend summer! (Fish Hoek is a beautiful place - my kids loved going there too, and so did I.) She is writing down all her beach escapades as I speak.
When Mum was growing up, toys were not a big thing. And when Geoff was growing up, toys were almost out of the question, because he was born during the war years here. But that is another story. I may have talked about it before, but a long time ago.
A few more things to add to the list....
- yo-yos (Fanta and Coke)
- hula hoops
- pick up sticks
- climbing trees
- snakes and ladders
- magic painting (water painting)
- chinese checkers
- dot to dot books
- slip and slide
- running through the sprinkler
- picture blocks
- musical bumps/chairs
- body surfing in the sea
- french cricket
- searching for shells in rock pools
And I haven't mentioned the fact that our social life sort of revolved around the huge Methodist Church we went to - once a month there was family movie night, and Mum and Auntie Myra made home made fudge and coconut ice and peppermint creams to sell there for church funds. Or that we grew up going through all the huge church youth groups . Junior Guild. Senior Guild and then Yours and Mine for older teens and students. We went on progressive suppers, treasure hunts. So much fun on a Friday night. On Saturdays, we played badminton in one of the church halls too. Sunday School, church fetes.......
The memories that this is triggering keep a smile on my face right now. And this is what I am doing, isn't it - I am logging memories. (Picture cheesy grin!)
The sun is shining. I am off to poddle round my garden.