Stuff I Learned As a Kid

I’m reposting some stuff that’s disappeared from FB or I haven’t used in a while. Read it or not, up to you it is.

This is stuff I learned growing up. Fortunately when I was a kid, I was given enough freedom to do some stupid things that taught valuable lessons. It’s too bad that children of all the helicopter parents these days won’t have the opportunity to make these mistakes as kids because they will sure as hell be making them at a stage in life where the consequences won’t be as forgiving. Surviving childhood shouldn’t be a walk in the park. Unless it’s a scary park full of dangerous crap and you have friends along and you carry a big stick to see you through.

I learned what trees I shouldn’t/couldn’t climb but not for lack of trying. And falling.
I learned what bodies of water to shy away from.
I learned how to avoid a beating from bullies and become a master of stealth.
I learned not to aim a BB gun where it might ricochet and get a pellet stuck in my eye. The hard way.
I learned how to drive a car fast and how fast I should actually drive a car in practice.
I learned why it’s important to respect a law enforcement officer (see above).
I learned dirt doesn’t taste very good but it won’t kill you.
I learned the hard way that measles suck, chicken pox itch, mumps are miserable and I’m one lucky bastard to have survived polio at the age of five.
I learned how to wear out the knees on a pair of jeans in a matter of days (you never see kids with holey jeans or patches these days unless their parents bought them at some chic boutique).
I learned green apples don’t end well especially when ‘borrowed’ from a neighbor’s tree.
I learned what a poisonous snake looks like while standing on one. Not on purpose.
I learned what the view is like launching oneself over the handlebars of a bike. More than once.
I learned three channels of television are probably more than enough.
I learned I should have had a safe deposit box for my comic book collection. Dammit, Mom.
I learned that books were really doors to magical places that you could open anytime.
I learned that if you were late for dinner you didn’t eat but never really starved.
I learned that you can get stitches from the doctor just about anywhere on your body.
I learned to trust but verify. An absolute when swapping trading cards.
I learned to look for the good in people but be swift to recognize the bad.
I learned that a tree house built with scrounged wood and tin and rusty nails will always be far more beautiful than any plastic playhouse.
I learned that kids can be cruel. Especially so if they perceive you as an easy mark.
I learned there will always be people who have more than I do but there are probably many more who have far less.
I learned to check my pockets for holes before stashing my lunch money.
I learned that when you lose someone it’s forever and hugs can’t be hugged when they’re gone.
I learned it’s not enough just to be smart (one can be smart and still do some really stupid shit).
I learned that love is fleeting, hate is self-defeating and compassion is not always painless but empathy is essential.
I learned it’s not how many friends you have but how many of your friends will lift you up when you’ve fallen so far you can’t see the light. Like in a hole. Where it’s dark and you forgot a rope.
I learned that you find odd animals and even odder people residing in storm drains.
I learned that tackle football without pads and a helmet hurts. A lot. Every weekend in the fall. And we thought it was fun.
I learned to love dogs and realize at times they had a lot more sense than I did.
I learned it’s not always fun to quit when you’re ahead but it’s probably the smartest thing to do.
And most of all I learned that outside was where life happened, where rules were broken, where lessons were learned and where kids thrived.

Please feel free to add to the list.


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