Talking with yesterday's birthday girl reminded me of when I was her age.
Once upon a time, was an era known as "the good old days", life was simpler, even though we didn't know it then or even have personal computers, and televisions had only 3 channels.
Part of the simplicity of life was enforced by the "mom network". When I was growing up rarely, did mothers work outside the home, and to keep from going bonkers they got involved with church and their kid's schools. They knew their kid's teachers, friends and their friend's parents. Since the parents knew each other, parental peer pressure created a semi-mythical timeline of what privileges kids were allowed when. Only the bravest mother deviated from her "community standard"
I don't remember the girl birthday milestone's, but birthday presents for boys were set in stone:
7 YO's got a new bike.
8 yo's a new baseball mitt and bat
10's upgraded to a 3 speed bike
somewhere around 12 a record player or a transistor radio
until at 15 (remember these nailed to the wall) you might get a phone extension for your room.
Any 16 yo in my neighborhood imagining they would receive their own car was smoking crack.
Asking Liz about her 12th birthday yesterday, set me on this reminiscence. All she wanted to talk about was her new cell phone, while here I sit, the last American adult without his own cell phone, wondering how the world changed so much, so quickly.