Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Sisterhood of 1976"

Me far right in light blue jacket


Sisterhood of 1976

"Growing apart doesn't change the fact
that for a long time we grew side by side;
our roots will always be tangled.  I'm glad of that."
-Ally Condie, "Matched" 

The only thing that disturbed
unending summer days
was Father's whistle come dusk.

Betwixt cereal spoon
rattling in the empty dish
and his sharp twill,

we urchins ran wild,
or as wild as we could imagine.
I remember getting lost

in cornfields, kicking pebbles
into the quarry, heads a bit dizzy
from the sheer drop.

Slyly pocketing change from places
off limits - gorging on forbidden
amounts of candy.  Experimenting

with matches, watching leaves,
twigs go up in smoke,
found cigarette butts, resurrected.

Running barefoot, forging trails,
putting ears to railroad tracks,
listening.  Counting time by the sun.

Each night we'd wash off
the day's adventures, secure
in our sisterhood of secrets.

I look back at our freedom, our rascality -
compare it to today's overprotected kids
and wonder which is better.

Margaret Bednar, May 20, 2014


I had a great time growing up… we weren't exactly well behaved all the time - but not the worst of miscreants either.   I know that we were not supervised like the children of today and my parents had no idea of all the things we did.   There was an interesting article (long, but really thought provoking) about how children were raised "back in the day" and how they are raised today.  It is "The Overprotected Kid" - click HERE to read it.

I was too late to join Poetry Jam's "Friends" challenge.  But go take a look at the efforts of other poets on this theme.

Also linked with "dVerse - Poetics - It's Qutoable

33 comments:

Gabriella said...

Thank you for adding your link to the comment box, Margaret! I think we had a freer and more carefree childhood than today's kids. Your words, and my memories, make me think that we had more fun too.

Mary said...

What a wonderfully nostalgic FRIENDS poem, Margaret. Thank you for linking to Poetry Jam (I did link it in via Mr. Linky) as well as to the dVerse Quotation prompt. I often think about my childhood days as well and all the freedom we had then. Things are different now..but I think, for children who are growing up, that these will be the good old days THEY remember!

Claudia said...

def. it was better back then... we too used to be outside all day, playing or dreaming the day away - getting ourselves in all kinds of troubles, climbed the highest trees - it was a wild and awesome time and i feel sad when kids cannot have that kind of freedom - overprotective today? maybe yes - i think each kid should earn their scars...smiles

Björn Rudberg said...

Somehow we who grew up at those happy days where probably more free than both our parents and our children.. I guess we know where the imagination can run with kids.. but we forget what good it did us.. I think kids today get their scars where we cannot follow them... and perhaps at more dangerous places...

Brian Miller said...

it was a whole different world...we used to range miles from home...we knew when to be there...and no one worried...its not the same anymore...and play has given way to techno babysitters....

jo-hanna said...

Enviable days.
But then....I bet you didn't go off to Rome for Spring break, like your daughter now :-)
There's good times and bad in every age.
Love the picture.

liv2write2day said...

This stirred up so many memories for me of my own childhood. So free and fun--spent exploring the hills where I lived in SoCalifornia--hills so over-developed now. I referenced it in my Monday post.

Peggy said...

Oh I well remember my parents saying how it was better when they were growing up. I think our way back then memories are influenced by the fact that children in general have simpler lives than adults. I though my kids had a much better growing up place than I did--and mine was quite ordinary for the times. It is all a matter of perspective. I enjoyed reading this glimpse into your childhood.

Laurie Kolp said...

Sounds like such good childhood memories, Margaret. I think it's a shame that the society we live in today creates such a need to overprotect our children, but it's just not as safe as it used to be. That makes me so sad.

TexWisGirl said...

i grew up much the same way (sans ponies, though). disappeared into the woods and creeks and fields for hours on end, rode bikes along dirt roads and country highways for miles on end - just to get an ice cream bar with my sister or swing on the swings in a school playground 8 miles away. :)

freyawrites.com said...

Wonderful. Children need boundaries, not suffocation.

tasmith1122 said...

Lovely writing and I can see why such a quote inspired you. Thank you for sharing.

alan1704 said...

Unending Summer Days - Those were the days of 76 what a wonderful year and excellently captured with your words. Brought back many memeories.

Heaven said...

I recall those lazy and wonderful days too Margaret ~ I am going to check on your link after my comment ~ My 2 cents worth is that we are very protective of our children but that's because the world has changed now, more dangers & predators lurking around ~ Good to see you ~

Grace

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love "we kept time by the sun".....I remember biking out into the country, setting my bike down and hiking up into hills full of rattlesnakes - never had a problem......I do think it was better back then. And I remember this photo from your interview. Smiles.

Poet Laundry said...

I love this Margaret. You captured much of the fun of what it is to be young. For me, I am not so much worried about what my kids may do--as to what others may try to do to them. The world is not a safe place for kids in many respects.

Kathryn said...

I love the reminiscing you do in this piece. I was on the phone today to my sister (I'm in the US while she's in the UK) and we were talking about memories of when we were kids. :0)

Ginnie said...

So your love of horses goes way back to the beginning, I see. And the "crowd" of children playing and growing up together! I actually hate the fact that kids are so over-protected today. I understand some of the reasons why, of course, but I still hate it for all of us in this world today!

Sumana Roy said...

lovely days of without worry..that's the beauty of childhood i think.love the nostalgic touch here...

Fireblossom said...

I grew up like you did. We were gone all day, doing our thing.

ayala said...

Those were different times..I love your poem!

ccchampagne said...

Feeling so badly nostalgic after reading this... Loved both content and the actual flow of the words! Great job!

Myrna R. said...

I love the free childhood you depict. It must have been wonderful. I'm older, but was raised in the inner city. So I was overprotected. I can imagine playing and romping freely must have been such a treat and a bonding experience for sisters. You wrote of this beautifully.

liv2write2day said...

Margaret--you gave me the hugest compliment: confusing me with Mary Oliver. Wow. Thanks--she's my poetic ideal.

razzamadazzle said...

This is a great look back at childhood. I am so glad I got to grow up in the time I did. Wouldn't want to be a kid today.

John Thomas Dodds said...

as a kid growing up in a fishing village I can relate and the poem works perfectly with the quote

bwfiction said...

Kids need adventures - or later they need a nanny state.

love the pony pictures.

manicddaily said...

No question to me that it is better to have some unstructured time to run about and grow up and experiment and most importantly to be outside. So hard now! I feel very lucky to have recently moved to country. Anyway, your poem made that freedom very vivid, Margaret, thanks. k.

Jim said...

Love it, Margaret. That's because my sister and I did those same things twenty or so years earlier. Differences? We were so far back in the hills there wasn't a railroad or a

Jim said...

candy store. Mrs Jim had those in town but I didn't know her then. Sis's first and last cigarettes were pilfered from my uncle's glove box and smoked down at our creek.
..

Jim said...

I'm commenting and writing since May 3rd using my iPad here in London. Sometimes IT acts up. Sorry.
..

Nataša Dolenc said...

beautifully captured memories. it seems like you really had one great childhood.

mywordwall said...

Oh, what a lovely, carefree, childhood. :-) The children today will be happier if their memories are not all about video games they played. :-)