Occasionally I am engaged in conversation with a friend about childhood experiences. The topic is fascinating to me. No two upbringings, it seems, are completely similar.

That stands to reason. Parenting styles are dissimilar. Also, no two neighborhoods are identical. One has to assume that that’s a good thing. Otherwise, wouldn’t we all have come out of the oven the same ? Perish forbid !

A good buddy was recently telling me of his childhood that was strikingly different from mine. His reminded me of those wild horses that roam the day long and run with the wind.

His Mom essentially had one daily parameter: just be home at dinner time. Go where you want to go, within the constraints predicated by a bicycle. Just be home by dinner hour.

How would that benchmark have affected my childhood ? That’s not worth pondering. It wouldn’t have. There was no need for such a rule . I was home. Period.l

We were farming. We weren’t going anywhere.

Our “rule” couldn’t really be described as such. It was better described as a way of life. It was an assumption. It was what you did every day . Farming necessitated that the whole family be home, every day. 365 days a year.

Of course, I was home at dinner time. That came right after milking. Every day.

You might ask about vacations. We had one once in my childhood, for five days. A neighbor dairyman did the milking for us.

This was in the day when neighbors helped neighbors. They had to.


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