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Baby Mamas

- Vaccinate This -

By Jay KantorPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 3 min read
Author © Jay Kantor ~ With Terrilynn

Baby Mama Update ~ Vax R/Us

Times have changed - but have they? We survived being born to a mother who may have chain smoked Chesterfields or drank habitually while they carried us; now meth-coke and heroin cause babies to be born addicted. They took heavy doses of aspirin, ate salty ankle swelling sauces, even mercury exposing fish from a can; never being tested for sodium or sugar diabetes, probably ever. Along with enduring all of the trauma from baby cribs, jingling with overhead carousel-chimes, in rooms covered with bright colored lead-based paints bordered by asbestos walls.

How did we survive no child proof lids on medicine bottles or door-cabinet crawling lock protections. We even rode bikes with no helmets - of course our heads were much harder then. We hitch-hiked everywhere; our basic mode of transportation. Seat belts or air bags never existed as a glimmer in car makers eyes. Now they've made (4) door trucks to accommodate 'belts' throughout the vehicles. Riding in the back of a pickup sliding loosely was always great fun. Sadly, I know of several pickup truck accidents with kids flying out that lives could have been saved.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a sterilized bottle. We shared our Coke Bottle Swigs with friends, and no one actually died from this; I think? We ate triple frosted cakes, cream puff pastries and white bread slathered with real butter and actually drank pop with extra sugar-cubes added as a quick 'high.' But we weren't overweight because we always played outside running around; rather than sitting around playing indoor Internet games, incessantly. I see school kids walk side by side with eyes on their cell phones; never just talking to one another. Are their best friends now computers?

— Our brains were being challenged in real-time. Unlike video games the story wasn't pre-written for us —

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day via mobile phone~text or even neighborhood shout-outs. Somehow we still survived that, too. Boys would spend hours fiddling and building wooden push-carts out of scraps and shopping cart wheels then ride down the hill, with only our feet dragging to stop us. After crashing into anything-everything - it still was such fun - a challenge if you will and we wore our bandages as a badge.

— Oh No —

OSHA child labor laws were non-existent: Kids will be kids. We burned our trash in backyard incinerators (anyone remember those) and constantly stepped on rusty nails while curiously traipsing around construction sites; Tetanus shot-jabs thereafter.

Our broken bone heavy white 'Plaster of Paris' casts filled with neighborhood signatures and silly squiggles made famous as featured at classroom Show & Tell days; so worth that. We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from ambulance chasing (settlement oriented) lawyers pointed at every deep-pocket within reach - Whew makes lawyer jokes a reality!

The idea of a parent bailing you out if you broke the law was unheard of; learned 'tude-taken. They actually sided with the law before the lawyers and the politicians regulated our 'entire' lives 'for our own good,' of course. Flash is out - Fancy cars, commonly worn jewelry, make us Targets; where's the "Progress" with that?

Smart Phone Reality? Factory kids got rickets from lack of sunshine. Kids today suffer from lack of sunshine through indoor 'lectric game day tripping. Lest we forget everyone's favorite: Playing backyard Doctor - Stethoscopes Out.

— Remember what used to be good before it hits us between the eyes and we may not recognize it —

Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California

'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Village Community -


About the Creator

Jay Kantor

Retired: Write for "The Kids Someday"

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (37)

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  • Caroline Craven3 minutes ago

    Hey Jay. This was fab. I might not want to grow older, but I am so grateful for my childhood and getting to run wild in the neighborhood, building dens in the woods and swimming in the river even though my mum told me not to go near water. ha! I do feel like kids miss out on all of that freedom. It makes me quite sad to be honest. Thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

  • Andrea Corwin 14 days ago

    Ya, ya, I'm with ya here. ONLY we now have 8 billion on the planet and pollution (don't get me going on why). I fondly remember family vacays without seatbelts, sitting on the floorboards; hanging onto bumpers of cars as they drove past the house on a snowy streets (would have gotten in mucho trouble if parents had seen); throwing snowballs at cars (!!), ringing doorbells and running. In this instance the good 'ol days were quite better and we had common sense instilled in by either an accident from foolishness or a bigger neighborhood kid who showed us what for.

  • Grz Colmabout a month ago

    Hahaha - the title! 😁 I really enjoyed this highly nostalgic trip down memory lane. Much of it it is still relatable to me as an 80s baby! Thanks for sharing this fun and thoughtful piece Jay!! 😊👏👏

  • Lacy Loar-Gruenler2 months ago

    Ah, Jay, you bring back such great memories! And so well written as only you can do it! I miss my pink Princess phone and Fanner cap pistols.

  • Kenny Penn3 months ago

    Ah, the good ol' days. I think what I miss the most is not having a cell phone. When you were out of the house, you were out, that's it. Leave a message at the beep

  • As someone on the very cusp between Boomer and Gen X, I could so relate to this.

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    The times they are a-changin'... 😁

  • C. Rommial Butler4 months ago

    On the one hand, we realize we've come a long way from people once obliviously licking radium and smoking cigars in the gunpowder factory; on the other hand, we must wonder if the emphasis on safety has made turtles out of a once brave hairless ape... Well-wrought!

  • Kristen Balyeat4 months ago

    Ok, J-dude.. you asked me a while back for my opinion on this piece, and I started my response but got interrupted. Just had a reason to come back here;) so here it is—and it'll be a rant, so hold on to your seat: I spent my entire childhood outside drinking from the hose, being the queen of the grasslands and wildflowers, examining bugs, chasing rabbits, and stepping on rusty nails (barefoot all the time). Nature was/is my sanctuary. The internet was invented when I was in high school, and if I wanted to listen to my favorite song over and over I had to sit next to my boom box and record a tape, which I then had to have the patience to rewind if I wanted to listen again. Although devices have their place, we have become so far removed from nature that we have forgotten that she gives us all we need for health and happiness. Our disconnection from the source of all that we are made of, in my opinion, is why we are so divided from each other, to name one of many disadvantages. We all need to go sit under a tree, put our toes in the dirt, and stop being afraid of the sunshine and plants that heal. Reconnect to that which connects us all. Do I allow devices? Yes. But there is balance. My kids will not have a computer as their best friend. They will know what it means to have a conversation while making eye contact. They will know how to ask questions. They will not be ruled by algorithms. They are already curious about life's mysteries, and although the internet is a great place for information, climbing a mountain or gazing at the stars keeps their curiosity alive and sparks new pathways of thought. It takes intentional parenting, especially when the electronics are so desirable, and an instant endorphin boost (as well as an easy way for ME to get a minute). But I wasn't a portal for these souls to come into this world for them to be raised by Siri, Alexa, or social media. As a side, the government has no idea what's best for me as an individual, or my children...soooo.... Thanks for this great piece, J-Dude. Times have changed. It's our job to tell the stories to keep the experiences (and lessons) alive.

  • WENNA WILLIE4 months ago

    Kids these days are more towards cellphones.. it's their language as technology has made their ways into our lives. Yup, kind off missing those nostalgic moments when we were young. Fantastic writing Jay.

  • Tressa Rose4 months ago

    I feel this sooo much! My best part of my life was by far my childhood. Time to come home when the street lights came on! My childhood fun was terrorizing the ice cream man by running up behind him, out of mirror site, and slapping the back of the truck. He would stop abruptly, music would shut off, and he would glance around for the hopeful little child wanting that bubble gum eyeballed stick of sweetness... but alas, no one was there... so he would continue on several more feet until SLAP!... You get the idea... eventually he started avoiding my street. Until one year when he "accidentally" hit my best friend Ashlee... She survived, minor scrapes and bruises, but I watched it go down, and I swear he did that shit on purpose. Needless to say we were done playing with the ice cream man lol. And also... I was a coke baby... I often wonder if that's why I ended up having my own struggle with drugs for a period of years... hmmm guess I'll never know! Great work as always! Your friend-T.

  • Brendan Donaghy4 months ago

    'No one was able to reach us all day via mobile phone~text' Remember those days? Feels like a long time ago!

  • Xine Segalas5 months ago

    Ah - the good old days! Love this!

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Love the nostalgia and the memories invoked in this one. Just wonderful.

  • very good story i'm from those days and can totally relate - Lon

  • Real Poetic5 months ago

    Kids these days have no idea the fun they’re missing out on. They can hardly use their own imagination.

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    It irks me so to see the darned kids on the couch and not outside. They don't even want to go to school anymore. Thanks Corona. This was so well said, what the heck do people find to talk about while putting their lives in danger, walking into manholes and ditches and traffic. Future leaders of tmorrow, beware.

  • Great story brought back memories of sliding around in the back of pick up trucks and drinking from water hoses 👍🏽

  • Mariann Carroll5 months ago

    I love the 80’s 😍If only we can bring it back.

  • A nostalgic piece that I can certainly feel with. I say feel, as I had emotions coming to the surface when reading it. Don

  • Elaine Sihera5 months ago

    Wow, I can identify with almost every word in your story. I remember walking at least two miles to school, trying to see if I could reach there before the bus passed me. We now over-protect children to such an extent, they have little self-confidence or faith in really experiencing life as it should be. A great read, Jay!

  • Shanon Norman5 months ago

    Great reminders. I love your writing. Balance is key. Funny, your title "Baby Mama's" -- I was just thinking about writing an article about that topic.

  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    Ugh! I can't tell you how many times I got stitches from climbing fences, one was barbed wire even. Takes a genius to learn that lesson 😅 but I was only 7 or 8. Didn't think much about skill and consequences in those days. This was a very eye-opening article, J. Told in the usual Kantor Schtick. "Show and tell" days...haha Now everyone put down those damn phones! L-bud!

  • Definitely a fun story...and congratulations to ME, too ...because I (somehow) survived most of the experiences you described in 'Baby Mamas' and feeling safe !!! Guy

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Yep!!! We survived all that and more!!! Enjoyed the read!!!Thankful that we can remember those days!!!

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