My Leave it to Beaver Childhood

I live in a small town in southern Georgia and have for 25 years. I moved here from St. Louis and no matter how long I’ve been gone from there I still feel like a Midwest girl. I believe most people feel that way about the places we call home. I can go there for a visit and see family and friends but am never quite comfortable being there. Isn’t that strange? I feel like a Midwest girl and call St. Louis my home but still feel like a foreigner when I’m there. I guess when your a transplant you never really know where you belong. Growing up in St. Louis was so normal and I had a wonderful uneventful childhood. We did not have any alcoholics in the family or drug addicts or child molestation or knew any transgenders. I grew up in a typical Irish catholic neighborhood. I always referred to my home as a similar place to Leave it to Beaver’s home. My mom stayed home and my dad wore a suit and went to work and all seven children went to nice catholic schools. We ate dinner together every night and all went to church on Sunday mornings. Most of the other families in the neighborhood were exactly the same. I don’t think I even met someone that wasn’t catholic until I was in the 11th grade. I wasn’t allowed to hang around kids that came from a broken home, which was odd enough back then. My parents were always involved in the schools and community. They loved trying to make a difference and setting a good example. I very rarely remember hearing my parents argue. They never raised their vocies with each other and always backed each other up. My father was born in 1918 (which might explain a lot) and was respected by everyone in my family. He was madly in love with my mother until the day he died. It was these good examples and normal childhood that ruined me for the real world.
I assumed life was like that which I knew. I thought couples got married and stayed married and very rarely fought. I thought wives could marry the man of their dreams and stay home waiting on their man. I thought everyone went to church and voted and was part of the PTA. HA. When I got in high school I began to rebel and test the limits. I drank, I smoked and did drugs. I flunked out of school and ranaway, briefly. I had to find out EVERYTHING life had to offer, especially the things I didn’t learn @ home. To this date, there is very little I regret. I do regret worrying my family though.
The friends I had were all from large families and their brothers and sisters went to school with my brothers and sisters. Everybody knew everybody in my neighborhood. I believed it was middle class America @ it’s finest. We all played school soccor, basketball and volleyball. There were tons of neighborhood kids and on summer evenings it was easy to find 10-20 kids playing kick ball in the middle of the street. Everyone was active whether it was school goverment, sports or neighborhood block parties. A strange world we lived in back then. Times sure have changed. I now know no one who lives on my street and only know one other person in the whole city and have never been to her house. I don’t know who the mayor is and am not happy with the federal goverment. I do still vote but rarely go to church. Everyone is so busy with their lives that we lost that normalicy that we all grew up with. Life happens.


  1. tammy

    i wish family life was still like that. the tech age is diminishing communications skills and kids would rather play video games then be outside…when i was growing up we stayed outside all day, drank from the water hose and ate lunch on the picnic table..we came in when the street lights came on


  2. Yes, its a different world we live in now.


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