My Childhood Was Awesome

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Someone sent me a picture of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant about to fight each other. The text said, “If you remember this, your childhood was awesome.”

My childhood was awesome.

Channel 17 used to show wrestling matches from Atlanta for an hour every Saturday night. When that was over, channel 36 would show wrestling matches from all over the world until about 2:00 Sunday morning. I don’t think I missed an episode until they quit coming on TV or I found out that wrestling was fake. I can’t remember which came first.

Either way, my childhood was awesome.

I grew up right next to Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, the home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves. Actually, I grew up about 20 minutes away. But when my friends and I played football in my front yard, it was as if I was playing on the Falcon’s field. The only difference was that our quarterback could throw better than the one playing for the Falcons at the time.

The cul-de-sac across the street from my house was the home of many, many World Series games. I was terrible at baseball. But when the kid down the street was pitching me underhanded tennis balls, I was a legend. Those huge fields were the places where I got into fights, got hit in the head with an aluminum bat and learned that throwing curve balls just wasn’t my thing. Now, when I drive back down that street, our football and baseball fields don’t look nearly as big. I wonder how so many of us managed to fit. Maybe that’s why we fought. But we sure had fun.

My childhood was awesome.

One night at dinner, my kids asked me who I played with when I was a kid. I told them that I played with the other kids on my street and they were astonished. They couldn’t believe that there were so many other kids who lived that close. Today, when kids play sports, it’s usually only in a league. When I was a kid, it was in the yard. All afternoon long. And into the night. Until all the moms gave the call to come home.

My childhood was awesome.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have words like selfie or texting. If one of us got caught taking a picture of our food, we’d be sent to our room. If we got caught taking a picture of ourselves, we’d get sent to Milledgeville. Milledgeville. That’s the place where every kid in Georgia was told that he would be sent if he ever acted too crazy. I never got sent to Milledgeville. But I did eat at a Chick-fil-a there once.

My childhood was awesome.

Writing something like this means that I’m old. I’m okay with that. I embrace my oldness. That’s because my oldness is pretty awesome too. My kids are growing up completely different than I did but it sure is fun leading them through it.

One of my kids’ favorite songs is called, Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots. It’s a pretty upbeat song and, whenever it comes on, there’s dancing, singing and laughing. But if you take the time to listen to the words, it suddenly becomes quite sad.

Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days,
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out.

Tyler Joseph, the writer of the song, is 27.

27.

It doesn’t take long for you to start feeling old. It doesn’t take long for you to miss the so-called good ol’ days of your childhood.

I’m not interested in turning back time. I’d rather keep moving forward. But I am thankful for some good ol’ days to look back on.

My childhood was awesome.

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