Last night I hung out with my parents while Michael was at work. As we were eating dinner I started telling my mom about a conversation that my sister (Naomi) and I were having on the phone earlier that day, about being poor. Naomi was telling me that she feels more poor now than she has ever felt and I one up'd her by saying, "you know nothing about being poor until you live in Michigan making $340 a month." She agreed that at one point, I had it way worse.
Anyway- My mom basically stopped me in the middle of my story to tell me what it was really like to be poor.
She told me that when she was younger her parents and her older sister lived in a very tiny apartment. My mom had to sleep with her parents in their bed and her older sister had to sleep in the kitchen. She said that her sister had just enough room for a small bed to fit in the kitchen. The bus fare was too expensive for my Oma to ride to work, so she walked over three miles to work every day and had a family friend watch my mom. My Oma worked in a factory jarring pickles, and some days when her friend couldn't watch my mom she would let my mom help tighten the lids on the pickle jars.
She told me that they only had an outhouse- no restroom inside. She said they only had two sets of clothes each-one set for the week and one set for Sundays. Each week they would fill up a plastic tub and bathe in it and that would be their shower for the week. In the summer times they would pay to use the showers at the pool after swimming. She grew up poor and I am sad that she didn't get to have a childhood.
The reason why I am saying all this is because lately I have been thinking a lot about my childhood vs. the way kids are growing up today. I am so glad that I grew up when I did. I had an imagination. Kids now don't even know how to "play pretend" because they have to have a iphone, ipod, or ipad to tell them how to have fun. It's sad. Those kinds of kids will never know what it is like to not have anything- granted, neither did I. I didn't get everything I wanted, but I had a great childhood and I thank my parents for not sitting me in front of the TV over making me play outside. I am glad I got my first cell phone at age 17 and my first car at 22.
I think I have it pretty good.