Either way, I've been reminiscing about my childhood and have come to the realization that my children may never get to experience certain joys I did. Two specifically have come to mind.
Jack's Pak-It - This was the little convenience store next door to my ballet studio in Beaumont, Texas. Living in our yellow house (where we lived from 1996-1998), it was within biking distance. During the summer, my siblings and I would hop on our bikes with a spare dollar or two and buy our favorite candy. They had a great selection and it was fun to stock up 10 cent candies, like 2 packs of Sixlets, three SweetTarts, and some 50 cent chocolate bar. Brotherface and I would take shifts shopping or watching the bikes, and Sisterpants (who would have only been 8-10 at the time) would stay in view of one us. We'd usually eat something there and then bike back home, finishing our candy over the course of the next day or so. I have no idea how often we'd go, but it was one of the few activities all three of us could agree on, and we still talk about it.
Nowadays, it's all chains, like 7-11, and it's not nearly the selection of child-priced candies. I only hope my children will have a place like that to go on their own and spend their hard-earned allowance/babysitting/chore money.
Renting movies - Now, as a Netflix user, I'm partly to blame for this, but video rental stores on the decline. Libraries have DVDs, but not all of them have a great selection (the last library branch I frequented did not). This is sad, because one of our favorite things to do as kids, accompanied by a parent, was to go the video store and rent a movie, after all our Friday chores were done. It wasn't always easy to decide, which probably drove our parents crazy, but almost always managed to do so. If I want to continue this occasional treat of a tradition for my kids, it's probably going to need some serious modification. And that's unfortunate.
Luckily, there are some things I loved as a kid that will still be around whenever I get around to having a family:
- Parent-child dates
- Father's interviews
- Lemonade stands
- Sporting events
Some days, I can't wait.