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Monday, September 3, 2007

Childhood Differences

The other day I was thinking about the things I did as a child and it struck me just how different some of Ian's childhood experiences are compared to mine.
For example, when I was a little girl, I believed in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, all the typical make-believe holiday and non holiday characters of childhood. With Ian, we decided that the truth was better and so as a result, he has known since he was old enough to know that mommy and daddy pretend to be these make-believe characters. In fact, I know of one instance where the "tooth fairy" just gave Ian the money and took the tooth, because he wouldn't go to sleep or stay in bed, he was too excited.
The truth approach has worked well for us except when we have cousins who staunchly believe the make-believe and Ian tries to enlighten them on the subject.
Ian has also never truly gone trick or treating. He's gone to his great grandparents house, but mostly he's gone to our church's alternative harvest party. Both Colin and I went trick or treating every year (well I went every year, I think Colin did). So we've never had the need to check Ian's candy for anything scary. And unlike me, he's only allowed some candy. My Halloween candy was always gone within the first day or two. With Ian, we end up throwing some of it out because it gets old (think: still having Halloween candy around at Easter).
Ian has never gone to public school. We home school him. I was in public school my entire school life K-12. Colin spend part of his school life in public school. Ian may some day attend public school, I don't know the future, but at this point, he's not.
Ian is growing up as an only child. Both Colin and I grew up with a younger brother. I don't know what kind of difference this makes, but I know it makes some difference. He's never had to wait for our attention or go to a sibling's activity. At least he has lots of cousins around. I had a brother, but I never had lots of cousins around to play with.
Ian goes to Awana. Colin went to Awana, but I never did. By the time we started attending a church that had Awana, I was too old for the programs they had. I'm really glad for this difference between my childhood and Ian's. I love that he works at memorizing God's word. He's been going since he was three and I hope to keep him in Awana for a long time. It's good for his mind, his soul and his social skills.
Obviously, Ian will never be a Brownie or a Girl Scout like I was. I don't know if he'll be in 4-H, he might. I was in 4-H for a few years and so was my brother, we learned new skills through 4-H.
Of course, Ian isn't growing up in Kansas like I did. He doesn't get to experience the amazingly hot summers and go swimming in the city pool (very few cities out here have a city pool). He doesn't get to go for drives out in the flint hills with his parents. He isn't growing up on a farm. He doesn't ride a school bus. He does live near the ocean. He does play sports and take swimming lessons. He goes to Sunday School and church. He has two parents who love him very much, just like Colin and I had growing up. Hopefully, when he looks back on his childhood, it will be as wonderful to him as my childhood was to me.

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