When you reminisce about your childhood, what do you think about? I remember making snow cones in my kitchen with my best friend before we ran outside to climb trees and play outside for hours, unaware of the time, our family, or the internet. People shared some thoughts in an online forum about what they thought about their childhood. What about you?
1. Infinite Time
Children don’t grasp the concept of time. “The feeling of infinite time. The future was distant, and your life was so uncluttered that the furthest out you could contemplate was maybe two weeks from your present moment. Every day probably felt like forever,” someone responds.
Pessimism gets the best of us in today’s society. “Carefreeness and optimism in this world. No matter what happened, I knew my parents would take care of it. I always had somebody to fall on. Now I feel like I’m being crushed by all the responsibilities, and the world doesn’t seem to be a safe place anymore,” a former optimist writes.
3. Riding a Bike All Day
I babysit a three-year-old who has never experienced a better feeling than riding his balance bike. He tells me it is his best friend (besides his favorite blanket, “regular blanket”), and he wants to spend all day cruising down the sidewalk on “Balancey.”
4. No Internet
Before the internet, kids and adults had to find facts and statistics from books, radio, research, or by word of mouth. Without a relentless surge of information, you had to seek out what you wanted to learn, making the learning process much more intricate and fun.
5. The Art of Discovery
Piggybacking off life without the internet, kids pinpointed their interests. They sought out more information based on their hobbies and engrossment. Say you were interested in snails. You could learn about them by reading an encyclopedia, or you could go outside following a rainstorm and observe the slimy animals, discovering their movements and behavior.
Remember that weightless sensation of chasing fireflies around your backyard with an open cup? You hoped to capture them—with holes in the lid, of course— and examine their behavior for a few moments before releasing them back into the universe. A contributor states that is the feeling they miss most from childhood.
7. Paying Attention
“Full immersion in something. When I was a kid, watching a cartoon, that’s all I was doing. I played laser tag with my friends; I was committed. Now, I feel like I can barely commit a fraction of my bandwidth to any one activity. Partially a product of the internet age with every piece of knowledge at your fingertips, I’m sure,” a user writes.
8. Climbing Trees
Several forum members comment how they miss climbing trees. Each person remembered their specific tree, the route they took while scaling the bark, and how they sat on the branches for hours, peering over the horizon.
9. Fighting Monsters
Isn’t imagination great? I believe science fiction and fantasy are so popular because we yearn to experience the pure joy our imagination brought us in childhood. We chase the same feelings we experienced as kids fighting monsters that we do as adults, consuming science fiction and fantastical media.
10. The Kid Who Ate Anything
In my elementary school, a boy we’ll call Christian ate anything. He poured his chocolate milk all over his lunch, drenching his spaghetti and meatballs in the brown liquid, smashing potatoes and bread into the tray. He did this method daily, causing multiple kids to fake vomit and most of his male friends to giggle.
One lonely being longs for the good old days when they embraced all of their friends whenever they wanted. Hugs jolt energy into the body and elevate mood, but as adults, we don’t hug each other as much as kids do.
A nostalgic respondent calls back to certain feelings ascertained in their youth. “That vibe. That specific weird old vibe, you know, with all the vibrant old toys in the dull room with the flash on… that one.”
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