When I Was A Kid…

Waaaayyy back in the day, long before kids texted their friends if they wanted to talk to them and “playing” meant actually going outside and, well, playing, I was a kid.

Summer days are still some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I spent my days outside during the summer time (and after school when we were in school) playing – not sitting in front of the TV with a video game.

I played ‘Statue Maker’ and ‘Simon Says’ and ‘Freeze Tag’ on the front lawn with all the other neighborhood kids.

I was a kid that rode my bike or walked all over the neighborhood.

I read books under the tree in our front yard.

I was never home, and definitely never inside, most days during the summer time – I don’t even think our parents knew where any of us were. There were a ton of kids on the street where I grew up, and we all just kept moving from house to house.

During the summer, the only rule for my sisters and I was that we all were expected home when we heard the call for dinner (or when we got hungry…whichever came first), and again when the street lights came on.

I had a pool in my backyard. During the summer we would be in the clear, cool water from morning till night. I don’t remember even using towels to dry off. We would just run around in the backyard when we were done swimming, and the water evaporated in the heat.

And if I wasn’t in the pool, I was running through the sprinklers, playing car wash with the hose and my bike, or making it rain with the hose while everybody ran around in the rain.

I used my imagination to play, I didn’t need to exercise or watch what I ate because I was go-go-going from the minute I woke up in the morning until the moment I went to sleep at night.

I was a kid that lived in a house where TV was a reward, not a babysitter. I wasn’t allowed to lay around…I was expected to keep myself busy and “find something to do”.

What is your favorite summer childhood memory? How was your childhood different from your children’s?

Concrit (constructive criticism) appreciated! Please feel free to leave any suggestions you think will help me improve my writing!

This post was written for The Red Dress Club’s memoir writing prompt for RemembeRED: A photo to take you back in time.

The photo, simply a hose with a nozzle on it, reminded me of summer days as a kid.


  1. Holy Hannah! Where have I been? I really like your new design! I have so many fantastic memories of playing outside all year round as a kid. Thank you for triggering some of those memories!
  2. I used to really enjoy reading your blog.As a mother I loved your idea of writing this blog to have a reminder for your children of their childhood.But lately your blog has been about giveaways,product reviews,other peoples blogs etc. There has not been a post about your children since Feb.24. I am glad that your blog has given you so many opportunities, but I hope soon we will hear those funny,heartfelt,sweet posts about your children so that this blog can get back to what was it's original meaning.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Thanks so much for the feedback - I really appreciate it! My blog has never been solely about my children; I've always included reviews/giveaways, my creative writing, blog tips/suggestions, and memories from my past. All of those things make up who I am. The giveaways are a way for me to say thank you to my readers, by giving them the chance to win products that I think are awesome and use in my daily life. I too, agree that I've been doing a ton of them lately, and have been considering a separate site for them. That said, I always try to tie the review in to our day-to-day lives so that people can see that I actually use it. I think you might be referring to my new feature "Monster Mommy Moments" when you mention other people's blogs - I started the feature back in January as a way to feature some of my readers and bloggers that show interest in submitting a moment to share. It's gotten fantastic feedback, and each of those moments gives people a way to see how hard it is to parent, and that we aren't alone when it comes to making mistakes. All that said, I hear what you are saying, and promise to be better about sharing more photos, and stories about the kids....I've got tons of them!
  3. Summer full of playing were the best. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to those times.
  4. My favorite summer memory? Playing outside til the street lights came on. In the woods, up the street, down the street - no cell phones, no lo-jack or anything so mom's knew where you were. We were just "out." playing. Til it was too dark to play, and sometimes, we'd get to play with flashlights even after dark! p.s. big lover of your blog no mattah WHAT you post about. Ahem.
  5. This brought me back to my childhood. My neighbors had a pool that we could use. If we weren't in there, we were playing with the hose or my Slip 'n' Slide. Or riding bikes all over the neighborhood. Now that I have my own kids, I really see how things have changed. I love your blog, too!
  6. I remember those days! They were the same for me as a kid growing up in Norco, CA. Gone all day, hanging out with friends...no cell phones, no 24 hour TV...coming home in time for dinner. Times have sure changed...not so sure all for the better. Thanks for the memories!
  7. I just remember being OUTSIDE....like a lot! Playing in the dirt, looking for worms, going swimming, visiting our mountain cabin and going for hikes and bike rides.....ahhhh....childhood!
  8. Loved IT! Your post inspired mine and had summer memories flooding back to my brain and shouting those were good times!
  9. aaaahh the digital generation I am going to come up with an "outside is mandatory" rule lol.
  10. By the time my birthday rolled around, in late August, my skin would be dark brown from all the time I spent outside. All day I'd be "knocking" for friends, riding my bike, walking all over the neighborhood, playing stickball and swimming in my best friend's pool. I did spend time inside, but that was spent reading or watching the occasional movie with a friend. It's a shame that it seems as though those days are long gone now.
  11. My favorite memory? Catching fireflies on a muggy night. It was a little bit of magic, right in your hands.
  12. We were definitely outside all the time as kids. All over the neighborhood. Nonstop movement.
  13. My kids run the neighborhood mostly. We don't have cable or video games. They hate getting dirty though. LOL
  14. We are really fortunate to live in an area where our kids can play outside all day long. Of course, they are supervised a lot more closely than I ever was. My childhood sounds similar to yours minus the pool and extreme heat. Sigh. And Im with Mommakiss - and whats more about your kids than your momdaze meme? love ya
  15. You captured my childhood too! We walked the 8 blocks to the pool, often barefoot, and spent entire afternoons there. Oh the blissful days of youth in the summertime. I'm praying to give as much of this as I am able to my own children.
  16. I had a childhood a lot like this. We ran and played and just basically lived outside. We made up our own games and didn't run to our parents when we got "bored" (probably because I know what she would have said). I look at my daughter now and she does none of that, and I'm not sure why. I know now people are a lot more careful about letting their kids out to explore the world, but we have a veritable theme park in our back yard. I hate that doesn't have that desire to just run and be a kid and I worry that I've done something wrong.
  17. "I don’t even think our parents knew where any of us were." So, so true. And yet, they weren't worried! We were having fun - walking, exploring, bike riding, playing wiffle-ball, playing "manhunt" or just talking FACE TO FACE. I, too, had a pool in the backyard with little understanding for the need for towels! Your post rings so true for me on so many levels. I came inside in the summertime when the mosquitoes chased me out of their realm. That was pretty much it. I would tolerate them as long as I could to collect lightning bugs, to finish chatting with friends, to play super-cool hide and seek in the dark. And your line about reading outside under your tree. I love it. I still read outside on the same steps I always have. I was doing it this week and realized that there was a post in it... I have traveled so many places while under the sun outside my kitchen door... I don't care what anyone says, for ME there is NOTHING like reading a good book OUTSIDE! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!
  18. This post made me want to go back to being a kid! I had a pool as well. I had some of my favorite childhood memories in that pool. Loved freeze tag too!
  19. I have very similar memories. We joke that my mom used to send us outside and then lock the door behind us. lol And that feeling of running the water off your body...ahhh....to be that young and unselfconscience again.
  20. I loved my childhood, like you said we were never around. Too much to do and it was rare as rare indeed that we ever were around. I wish we would have had a pool, that is the only thing I longed for when I was a kid. And I hope that I can get my boys out playing like I did, so they can have some amazing memories like I did!
  21. yes, yes, exactly like my childhood. A time that we didn't have to worry so much and we knew our neighbors and they protected us (for the most part) . I felt every emotion when reading this, and felt my summers and the fun, excitement, carefree"ness" of it in every word.
  22. This is like reading my own summers. I remember being gone all day in the summer. My parents probably only had a small clue where we were. I always knew where my daughter was. I was terrified to let her out of my sight. The world has changed so much. I hope that I can offer better play to my grandkids. We are in a different place. Time will tell. Well written. I can't concrit a memory so much like my own.
  23. *Sigh* I love your descriptions of carefree summertime play. Man, friendships were strong then, weren't they? When we, you know, talked to each other as the main mode of communication! My favorite part of your post was your naming the games by name. Each one brought back my own memories. So much fun! :)
  24. Coolwhipmom says:
    Awesome post. I played outside as a kid too, but not as much as you did. There weren't as many kids on our block until I was older so it was a little lonely when I was younger. But regardless, you post brought back a lot of vivid memories for me! Beautiful!
  25. Love it - you are younger than I am (gulp) but I had a similar childhood - always outdoors, swimming, fresh air, statue maker (good times!) I wonder sometimes about what my own children will remember from their earliest years... I want so much to make their lives special. I guess that's a good first step, at least. :-)
  26. You just described my childhood to a tee! Except that I didn't have a pool. Nice job with the prompt, Natalie.
  27. I do remember a lot more freedom. It was safer then.
  28. this was SOOO my childhood too! And what's funny? I keep checking in with my mom to see if I am raising Eddie the same way as she did for us because I want him to have that fun too!
  29. Great blog! Thanks for the good memories!


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