A Different Kind of Childhood

In terms of geography, community, and culture my parents childhood looked a lot like mine. Beyond than the changes that have occurred in society as a whole, Bond County hasn't changed in any terribly drastic ways in probably 150 years. It's not like the farmland is now eaten up by subdivisions or the once prosperous city is now in dire straights. In fact, I grew up on the same farm my Mom grew up on and though we watched Sesame Street and had crushes on the New Kids on The Block it's not so different than I Love Lucy and The Beatles.

Tomorrow, Junia and I will take the lightrail and the bus (I didn't take a bus or a subway until my Sophomore year of college). Neither of these forms of transportation will be new for her- and she is 7 weeks old. In December she will travel on an airplane (I was 17). She will encounter Seattle, Portland, St.Louis and other cities this year (Yup, cities were pretty much a scary mystery for me until college) and many more in the years to come. She has already seen the ocean (if Puget sound counts) and I'm sure will see the vast open ocean within the year (I was in High School before I new that vastness) If we stay in Seattle and our neighborhood she will encounter people of color on a daily basis. She will certainly know diversity even if it's just knowing GLBT folks, hipsters among others. Conversations around our dinner table will include political, social, and downright debatable issues. She will not know the ins and outs of the road from Greenville to my Mom's house better than the back of her hand. She will not know the ordinary excitement of a summer thunderstorm that breaks the heat for a short while and then turns the world back into an Illinois rainforest. She will not recognize the talk of a group of retired farmers wearing Pioneer Seed Corn Hats while having coffee at the local McDonalds and will not know the excitement of 'going to town.'

So if you don't see the connection coming here it is. I am going to raise a child with a totally different childhood than the one I had. The things she remembers, the ways that this will form her, and the stories that she tells are a mystery to me...An exciting one at that


  1. How exciting! You and she can discover the world together!
    ~ Anne


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