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Classof65

"It takes a village to raise a child."

Our family did not move as much as yours, but I was surprised when I stopped to count it up to find that my family had moved six times from the time I was born until I left home at the age of eighteen. A couple of years later my family (without me) moved another six times until my father and mother both died and my siblings were all on their own.

We were quite poor when I was a child and my father did not believe in buying on credit, so if we couldn't afford it, they didn't buy it. He did not believe in women working outside the home and so my mother didn't until I was seventeen. I was out of high school then and between jobs, so she paid me to keep house and watch the two boys still under school-age and she took temporary jobs with an office staffing company while my dad was driving a moving van all over the country for weeks at a time.

I was much more shy than you were and I admire your self-confidence in making acquaintances with others. My family was so large (nine children!) that as the oldest girl I was expected to do housework and help with childcare whenever we were not in school. I had little free time that I could call my own and I spent most of that time reading.

Kids today do not play outside as much as we did back in the 50s and 60s. If ever we had the chance to be outside, we jumped at the chance. Kids today play too many isolating video games or watch TV or movies instead of devising their own games with their siblings or neighbor kids. We used to make up pretend scenarios, whether it was "cowboys and Indians" or "pirates" or "saving animals from danger" or trying to train our dogs to jump through hula hoops like lions in the circus. We also played conventional games like baseball or jacks or hopscotch, but we had no one to teach us the rules, so we made up our own.

My mother did read us stories until we learned to read them ourselves, but she never helped with homework or even asked if we had any. My dad took no responsibility with any of us, except to sometimes drive us to school -- he left all of that to Mom. They would sometimes attend the meetings with teachers, but not unless there was a big problem with one of the younger kids. We older kids got okay grades and had no discipline problems, so my parents saw no reason to talk to the teachers about us.

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