Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Think of the Children! Tuesday: On My Actual Childhood

Oh to never be sixteen again.
So today, instead of talking about some particular book or movie and how it relates to the emotional and mental development of young children (a topic which all of you apparently are pretty invested in - well done), we're actually going broader. Like a lot of you, I have been spending my holidays with my family, and, like for a lot of you I'm sure, this means plenty of reminiscences and shared nostalgia about the past. 

Today while I was getting ready to go out, I happened to stumble into a conversation with my mother and sister about our childhood, and it made me realize that I've never quite addressed it in whole. I've given all of you snippets and pieces here and there, but I've not gone into much depth on what my childhood was actually like, at least from a media standpoint. So that's what we're going to talk about today. Grab your britches and bear down*, because we're getting personal.

I've mentioned this before, and I'm sure it'll come up again, but I don't think in the grand scheme of things that my childhood was probably all that different than yours. Everyone has facets of their past that are weird and unique, but when we average them all together, we're much more alike than we realize. As a child I was roughly aware of this, but in the way of most kids, I vacillated between assuming everyone else was exactly like me or thinking I was the specialest snowflake ever.

The truth is, of course, somewhere in between. I'm a millennial and I was born into a nuclear family of statistically average size in the late 1980s. We are white, middle-class Americans who live in New England. When I was growing up we had a dog and two cats. My sister and I did not share a room because our parents didn't want us to fight. We went to Sunday school every week until I was in high school**. And my father read us stories every night before we went to bed.

I generally tend to assume that at least some of this is relatable to you. Probably not all of it, but I'd bet at least a little resembles your childhood and a little bit doesn't. That's fine.

The part I want to focus on is that last bit. My father read to us every night before we went to bed. On the surface this is a really simple statement, but it turns out that this fact is actually one of the main foundations of my life. See, my parents were very intentional about having children and they put a lot of thought into how they raised us. While I don't love all of the choices they made, I do have to admit that, looking at my sister and I, they did a pretty good job. One of the choices I really genuinely like, though, was the decision to emphasize reading and stories.

No matter what was happening emotionally in the family, no matter the stress or tension or tantrums or illnesses that had hit us that day, at a certain point in the evening, everything was put aside so that Dad could read to my sister and I. We each had our own book we were reading with him, but we'd generally sit on the edges and listen anyway. At least, that's what I did. So growing up I got to hear stories picked just for me, and I got to hear stories that were a few years ahead of me, just out of my age and comprehension level. 

More than that, though, this cemented stories for me as something that you can use as a form of communication and emotional connection. Stories always brought us together. There are stories that everyone in my family holds dear together. While my mother wasn't the one reading to us, she was always there. Together we heard my father read us The Little House on the Prairie books and Little Women and Jeeves and Wooster and The Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables. We'd all sit as a family and listen, soaking up these stories.

So it's little wonder that I became a prolific reader. Granted, I didn't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. While my father did read to us every night (and I seriously mean every night), there were also other ways in which reading was emphasized in my household. The main one was that aside from reading there just wasn't a whole lot to do.

We didn't have a huge amount of money and we weren't big toy people, so playtime was either stuffed animals and imagination or reading. Our television could only get one channel - and it was the local PBS station that only aired educational programming - so it wasn't like I could zone out to Ninja Turtles. We lived on a very quiet street with a house that backed onto the woods. There was stuff to do, but the main thing we did when I was a child was, well, read. 

Have to go with Mom while she has a work appointment? Read in the car. Have to go to church and then sit through a two hour meeting afterwards? Better bring a book. Going to Grandma's for dinner? Yesssss, the one time in the week to watch cartoons! But you'd better bring a book in case the TV isn't working.

My childhood was defined not just by reading but by a general lack of anything much else to do.

This is not to make it sound like we were deprived, by the way. I personally think that I turned out just fine. My parents made a conscious choice to limit our contact with television and movies, and while I have completely turned on that in my adult career, I don't think it was a bad plan. 

We certainly still got a good film education. The local library got to know us very well, both for our voracious book appetites and for our tastes in movies. Our town has a book exchange that allowed my sister and I to constantly be rummaging for more reading material to take home. And our house encourage and practically demanded reading. Our entire second floor hallway is a floor to ceiling bookshelf. If I as a child wanted to know more about Egyptian art or how to rig a sailboat, all I had to do was pull down a book and find out.

What I'm saying is not that my childhood was any better or worse than yours, just that it was probably different in some ways. My family loves books, and I love stories because in a big way I was programmed to. There was no escaping it for me, and I don't mind. While my father did eventually stop reading to my sister and I, I kept it going for as long as I could. It wasn't until I was well into high school that we finally quit. By then, we'd worked our way through just about every appropriate series available and even moved onto reading nonfiction books together, from theology to micro-histories. Heck, sometimes we still do it now too.

I guess there are a couple of reasons I'm bringing this up now. The first is simply that having my sister around reminds me of how I wasn't made in a vacuum. I didn't come out of the womb loving stories, but it's also not something that was spontaneously geminated in me one day. My parents put a lot of work into making us love books and stories, and it paid off.

My high school job? Junior librarian.
Second, part of this is a defense of screen-free childraising. While I am ambivalent myself over whether or not I'll ever have children and whether or not I will allow those children to watch as much television as they want, I know that the debate over how to deal with kids and screentime is a vicious one with a lot of good points on both sides. So a little bit of this is me just giving anecdotal evidence to prove that depriving your children of screens does not mean they'll turn out to be cultureless, unlovable cretins. Probably.

The third reason, though, is more specific to this website. Sometimes when I talk to you guys, one on one, one of you will mention that you don't read all the articles or that you feel like I move through media and stories much more quickly than you do. And there's an implication in that that suggests I'm better or more virtuous because I've read all these books and seen all these television shows and I'm so informed about all of these things. I've had people straight up apologize to me for not knowing all the references I make.

In no small part, the reason I'm telling you all of this is to explain why I know what I know. I don't expect any of you to have the same background I do. If you do, great! We should compare notes! But if you don't, that's fine. There are probably amazing ways that your childhood prepared you for life that mine completely missed. My ability to read a book a day isn't some superhuman capacity or a virtue of the soul. It's just that I read a lot as a kid because there wasn't anything else to do. Well, that and when I was ten my mother taught me how to speed read.

I'm telling you this because I want you to understand that I don't want to take pride in my pop culture savvy. I know a lot of things, that's very true. I'm a huge nerd. I like learning and reading and taking classes and knowing stuff. But I know that I like that because my childhood wired me that way. Some of it's personality and some of it is just a very specific environment. I'm the over-educated daughter of two people who really value education. Reading was a priority for us. It was always assumed that I would go to college. I am very very very privileged in that way, and I know that.

So consider this my explanation. My admission of privilege. I am white and from a middle-class family and I have educated parents. My childhood was very privileged in a lot of ways. Most specifically, I was privileged to have a family that encouraged my curiosity, my intelligence, and my mad reading skills. Not everybody gets that, and I never want you to feel like I'm looking down on you for not having the same background I did.

And I think it's important for me to remember that a lot of this is not my doing. My intelligence is much less something I can take credit for than a product of my upbringing. It's hard to admit that you aren't ultimately responsible for your own success, but in my case it's really not my doing. Anyway.

I talk a lot about my childhood in these kids' media related articles. It seemed time to give all of you a more concentrated look at how media shaped my childhood. Granted, this is still just a little taste of it. I haven't even gotten into the great high culture vs. low culture wars that characterized middle school. But for now I'll leave you with this: for better or worse, my parents and my childhood have shaped me into the person I am today. I'm okay with this. I happen to think that I'm pretty cool. 

Chances are, your childhood and your parents have also shaped you into the person you've become. Whether that was a good or bad experience, whether they loved reading or never let a book inside your house, whether you knew them or not, I just want to say that I think you're pretty cool too. 

That's all.


*I need to stop making up folksy sayings on the spot as they always end up kind of poop-related.

**I might have gotten a little bit banned when I was fifteen.

37 comments:

  1. Nothing really to say other than I enjoyed this post a lot. As someone who reads your blog fairly frequently, it's nice to get to know you, your background, your opinions, your interests. Thanks for putting so much into this entire site!!! You're great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Downloading movies on the internet could be quite a headache should you not have any understanding of how to choose an outstanding site. Watch latest Fantacy Movies 2018 online, list Fantacy movies 2018 online on yemoviesonline.org.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your article is very interesting and fantastic, at the same time the theme is unique and perfect, great job.

    Motorwars2.com
    Bulletforce.org

    ReplyDelete
  4. toko tas murah kanvas murah menjual kanvas lukis dan spanram kayu menyediakan berbagai macam jenis kanvas dan spanram harga dijamin murah kualitas kayu di jamin baik toko fashion terbaru
    tas kipling murah belanja online murah toko online strore di malang jual tas arema tas ransel arema anda mencari perlengkapan sekolah atau perlengkapan merchendise jual kaos arema batavia toko
    toko tas ransel wanita murah merchedise arema jual kaos arema batavia pusat merchendise arema sekarang hadir di kota batavia kami hadir di tag grosir tas pasar wanitatung makassar toko tas online
    tote bag murah storemurahbrandedlogdown grosir tas pasar wanitatung makassar tas murah import branded tas fashion gaya tas wanita murah jual tas wanita online toko tas wanita online toko
    toko tas cath kidston murah tas murah online supplier dan reseller tas toko online jual tas murah berkualitas online store murah belanja tas hermes garden party pink i076 silahkan klik gambar untuk memperbesar
    toko tas sekolah anak murah bandung tampilan jual handbag pria online model terbaru situs belanja online terpopuler saat ini situs belanja online terpopuler saat ini c fashion pria handbag 169 jual beli handbag pria branded
    tas ransel kanvas corak murah terlengkap handbag memiliki peranan penting baik dalam fashion sehari hari maupun gaya fashion khususnya fashion pria handbag akan melindungi kaki dan membuat
    jual tote bag tali sumbu di bandung penampilan jauh lebih menarik online store the north face indonesia original katalog dan harga katalog dan harga the north face cek harga jas hujan jaket tas ransel hingga handbag

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to testify about United blank atm cards which can withdraw money from any atm machines around the world. I was very poor before and have no job. I saw so many testimony about how United hackers send them the atm blank card and use it to collect money in any atm machine and become rich. I email them also and they sent me the blank atm card. I have use it to get 90,000 dollars. withdraw the maximum of 5,000 USD daily. United hackers  is giving out the card just to help the poor. Hack and take money directly from any atm machine vault with the use of atm programmed card which runs in automatic mode.

    Email: unitedblankatmhackcard@gmail.com  

    ReplyDelete



  6. I can offer not only classical sex {in different positions like old Kamasutra style} but can also do much more which we can negotiate if you require Escorts Service in Kolkata I guarantee to provide you with our undivided attention at all times. I know how to kindle a fire of passion in a man. I like to diversify in man. Check our other Services...
    Escorts Service in Kolkata
    Escorts Service in Kolkata
    Escorts Service in Lucknow
    Escorts Service in Lucknow
    Escorts Service in Lucknow



    ReplyDelete
  7. หนังออนไลน์ The Aftermath อาฟเตอร์แมท (2019) ดูหนังใหม่เรื่องนี้ได้แล้วแบบฟรีๆที่

    https://www.doonung1234.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. I feel that a debt of gratitude is in order for the valuabe data and experiences you have so given here. If you are looking for the best Things to do around the world, this list has something for everybody from food to history and culture.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Haven’t you heard about United hacking company blank ATM card and how other people had benefited from it? I am Leah Hart by name, i want to share a blog and forums on how to get real blank ATM card,thank to united hacking company who helped me with an already hacked ATM CARD and i was so poor without funds that i got frustrated. One morning as i was browsing on the internet, i saw different comments of people testifying of how united hacking company helped him from being poor to a rich man through this already hacked ATM CARD. I was skeptical if this was true, i decided to contact him to know if he is real he proved to me beyond all doubts that its was really for real so i urgently receive my blank ATM card. Contact them on email: unitedblankatmhackcard@gmail.com and today am also testifying on how united hacking company helped me. I never believed in it until the card was sent to me, which am using today Contact the company now and become rich. Email: unitedblankatmhackcard@gmail.com  

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the love spell Dr kuta you are the best and kind spell caster i have see in life thanks you so much sir email him viadrkutaherbalcenter@gmail.com or WhatsApp him via‪ ‪+234 7054547814

    ReplyDelete
  11. If you are having any trouble in finding your required dimensions and styles so, visiy our site on custom box printing. We will design boxes with your company’s logo complying with your needs. With multiple add-ons and furnishing choices, you can easily make your custom boxes worth noticing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My girlfriend and I finally got the apartment we have been looking for after living our old home at New Jersey. We want to build as much credit as possible so that in about a year when our lease is up, we can seriously look at mortgages. Neither of us had a bad credit history, although we have some couple of late payment collections electric and internet bills phone bills and some other stuff that made it a little bit bad but when I explained these to my brother he now gave this contact info hacknet567 AT gmail DOT com (949) 397 8437 for solution I quickly text him for help and he got everything wiped out and paid off my late payment including the phone bills. Am so grateful to have meet hacknet that gave me a good credit profile with an excellent credit score of 803. I will like everyone out there to reach him out with those info above for fast credit repair

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lexington are ripping people over millions, I can’t blame anyone for contacting credit specialist to improve their bad credit. With the help of HACKNET CREDIT SPECIALIST I was able to get my score up to 799 with all late and unpaid items deleted permanently, He has helped I and so many of my family members get their credit improved. Contact: (HACKNET567@GMAIL.COM or call +1 (949) 397 8437) if you need your credit to be fixed within 5days. I just got approved for a loan to buy a truck for my business, and a home loan after how many months of working with Lexington and the rest.

    ReplyDelete
  14. bespoke packaging boxes uk At Bespoke Packaging UK we strongly believe in the interests of bespoke packaging, which has multiple benefits.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The cosmetic boxes UK provide top-quality wholesale custom printed cosmetic packaging boxes UK in all sizes and colors. Based in London, Free Shipping.cosmetic packaging wholesale | cosmetic packaging wholesale

    ReplyDelete

  16. Fantastic website. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to some
    friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your effort!

    my web page; 오피사이트
    (jk)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very nice article and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thank you.온라인카지노

    ReplyDelete
  18. It’s truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us.카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  19. Several years ago I had a lot of things go bad in my life and I was over whelmed and in Debt, I struggled living week to week. I paid what I could and ignored my credit report HUGE MISTAKE. Thanks to TROVIAN CREDIT REPAIR whom I found on a credit blog, they worked together to build up my credit report. It's hard to find a company who can fix your credit and paid off your debt but Trovian did that, they cleared everything on my report and most of all they inspires me with a wonderful score of 803 and turned my life around and gave me a better life. So you can as well hit them up for credit solutions through their contact details TROVIANCREDITREPAIR@GMAIL.COM 505 926 3648. Thank you Trovians you guys are the best...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the detailed info on this topic. It’s very hard to find nowadays to know about the basics but you did it so much well and I love FMWhatsApp . I would love to see more about it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Casinos often have extremely well known สล็อต pg acts perform there to bring people in to gamble, and they also pay smaller acts to perform throughout the day to keep people entertained

    ReplyDelete
  22. I got flagged for a late payment on my credit report, I had bankruptcy chapter 7 discharged January 2020, I had 11 open account with all exceptional credit history which decreased my credit score to 515. Since then I’ve been looking for a way to rebuild my credit. I asked a question on my Fico forum on how to rebuild my credit history a member referred me to ROOTKITS CREDIT SPECIALIST and told me how they helped his family after 5 years of bad credit report. I decided to give them a shot on 1st of November 2021 and explained my situation to them. They promised to fix my credit report, but I’ll recommend their service if job is done, 3rd of November I got a text from them to confirm my new credit history. my score has been raised to 811 excellent score across the 3 credit bureaus. Late payment, bankruptcy have been deleted. I decided to wait after 7days to confirm if it’s a permanent hack. I now have a new credit history. I sincerely recommend them to anyone who has similar issues. Email them on: rootkitscreditspecialist@gmail.com Or CALL +1 760 474 3440.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I agree and here i want to give suggestion about the Cheap Essay Writers Uk

    ReplyDelete
  24. The rate people steal bitcoin is overwhelming, I met a certain investment broker and she did a very calculative maths for me about how i could make tipple of my capital, So i decided to go ahead with the investment. I invested $540, 000 of my hard earned sweat of 20 years in 7 accounts.I was able to withdrawal just $10, 000 at first and then i couldn't get any of my initial capital back. I called them several time and also sent emails but all to no avail. I was referred to recoverstolenbitcoin@gmail. com who helped recovered 100% of my lost funds Back to me. I couldn't believe at first that this was possible because i lost hope in contacting anyone on the internet, but i guess not everybody is bad after all.

    ReplyDelete
  25. RELIABLE BUSINESS/HOME/COMPANY/PROJECT/PERSONAL LOAN? AFFORDABLE LOAN IS HERE FOR YOU TODAY Email profdorothyinvestments@gmail.com

    We are financial consultants providing reliable loans to individuals and funding for business, home and projects start up. Are you tired of seeking loans or are you in any financial mess. Do you have a low credit score, and you will find it difficult to get loans from banks and other financial institutions? then worry no more for we are the solution to your financial misfortune. we offer all types of loan ranging from $5,000.00 to $2,000,000.00USD with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 33 years to pay back the loan secure and unsecured. Are you losing sleep at nights worrying how to get a Legit Loan Lender? Contact us via Email: profdorothyinvestments@gmail.com

    Do you have a bad credit? Do you need money to pay bills? Do you need loan to buy, refinance or renovate your home? Is it necessary to start a new business? Do you have an unfinished project due to poor funding? Do you need money to invest in any specialty that will benefit you? MRS. DOROTHY LOAN INVESTMENTS aims is to provide excellent professional financial services which include the followings

    * Personal loans * Business loans
    * Home loans * Farm Loans
    * Education loans * Debt consolidation loans
    * Truck Loans * Car Loans
    * Hotels Loans * Refinancing Loans
    * Venture capital and many more.

    We are certified, reliable, financially powerful, fast and dynamic, with no credit check and offers a 100% guarantee loans and finances THANKS

    Yours Faithfully
    Prof. Dorothy Pilkenton Jean
    profdorothyinvestments@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have had my own share of crypto scams due to referrals from some site, I lost a lot of money and i was still told to send more money to unlock my account because my balance was non-spendable or something else. Sadly i couldn’t count on the police so i reached out to a company that helped. [recoverstolenbitcoin AT gmail DOT com] or +1(475)2954375 .Luckily for me, I was able to get my money back. They showed me how every bitcoin transaction is traceable. Your crypto first goes to the scam wallet, from there bitcoins will travel through some proxy wallets to cover the tracks. But, every single transaction is recorded in block chain. So your bitcoins can be traced to endpoint, which is some bitcoin exchange market. Where they are exchanged for real money. And then the exchanges in questions will have records of who received the money and how they received it. Contact them if you’ve similar issues, You’ll be grateful that you did.

    ReplyDelete
  27. have been a victim of bitcoin scam about 7 months back. Con artist gained access to my coinbase account through a phishing scam. They stole 2.8 BTC. I was really devastated. I did everything to get back my funds by contacting the support but there was nothing they could do. A friend of my told me about a recovery company name [bitcoinandfundsrecoveryexpert AT gmail DOT com] I wrote them and They help fight against various investment scam and i could only thank God they were able to retrieve my lost funds.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've seen articles on the same subject many times, but your writing is the simplest and clearest of them. I will refer to 메이저놀이터추천

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well I fixed my credit and got rid of my debts with the help of PINNACLE CREDIT SPECIALIST whom a trusted colleague recommended and he did a perfect job increasing my credit about 210 points in 3 business days. My score is amazingly at its high 815 now and all credit card debts and inquiries are gone & I've never been this happy. I refer this hacker to those who have a fixed date to fix their profile. Text PINNACLE on +1 (585) 466 4373. Tell him Kaytea Lewis referred you. You can also reach him via PINNACLECREDITSPECIALIST@GMAIL.COM

    ReplyDelete
  30. One evening, i was reading a blog of how so many people got this blank card online when i was trying to search for a new job, but it didn't seem clear to me so i ignored. Three days later, i was so surprised to see a comment by my cousin on how he got the blank card worth Thousand Dollars and without hesitation i gave him a call to come over to the house to tell me more about the card and he told me that its a miracle that i needed to per-take. He gave me the email address ( dwchzone@gmail.com ) of the hackers and i contact them for the card and they responded and told me all the procedures and terms of the card which was also what my cousin told me, i agreed and completed their requirement to get the card. Four days later, i heard knock on my door an behold was the courier agent who brought the parcel to my house and today i am rich and i thank God to this hackers and to my cousin brother who lead me to them. It might sounds odd but you can get yours via.


    Email: dwchzone@gmail.com

    Text & Call or WhatsApp: +18033921735

    Visit: https://darkwebcycberhackers.com/

    ReplyDelete
  31. My husband and I were trying to get our first mortgage. We were already working with a mortgage officer, but was running into an issue. My husband mortgage scores were too low, but I can’t get approved. I applied for a Wells Fargo credit card and denied because of too many inquiries. I checked my credit report and there are 31 auto loan inquiries from 10/2020. I did not get the car though I was approved, I also had medical debt, I got 2 bills same amount on same day from the hospital. I found a collection on my credit report in November 2020 for the duplicate. Debt is almost 2k and a year old, my credit score was at EQ-525, TU-519 and EX-514. We were depressed because we couldn’t get approved of our mortgage loan. Big THANKS to my loan officer who referred me to PINNACLE CREDIT SPECIALIST to help me fix my credit report. I contacted them immediately on PINNACLECREDITSPECIALIST@GMAIL.COM and I got a reply, I explained my predicament to them and they assured me to get job done within the maximum of 5 days. To my greatest surprise PINNACLE has really done a great job in my credit report 31 auto loan has been wiped off and medical debt removed. My credit score has been increased to EQ-805, TU-801 and EX-807. And we’ve been approved of our mortgage loan. You can also call or text them on +1 (585) 466 4373.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I’m 28 and had great credit up until I lost my job. I had one late payment for a department store card for the amount of $700. It dropped my score down, to almost 120 points. I contracted Raylink Cyber services to help me remedy the situation so I can get another rent. In just 5 days, they deleted the late payment. They upgraded my score to 780. I got another apartment immediately after the credit score was fixed, thanks to them. Contact: RAYLINKCYBERSERVICES@GMAIL.COM

    ReplyDelete
  33. I talked to REVOX CREDIT SPECIALIST who listened to me and helped me solve my credit issues. Deleted all negative items and also raised my score to 810 which made it possible to be approved of a debt consolidation loan. Reach Him: REVOXCREDITSPECIALIST@GMAIL.COM

    ReplyDelete
  34. I will only recommend the best here. I can assure you RAYLINK is the best and really good in increasing of credit score, deleting of negatives collections, paying off loans and maxed out credit card debt on your report. He help me get mine done within three days and my score is 821 now and I can proudly say he added 220 points. Thank me later. RAYLINKCYBERSERVICES@GMAIL.COM

    ReplyDelete