Being Five

My grandson, Atticus Brown, had his fifth birthday this month. I was recently thinking of how different my life was when I became five. He lives in a large city in Texas. I lived in a small country town in Georgia and had been to Atlanta only one time. This wasn’t all together bad. I had much more freedom. There were very few cars so no traffic dangers. I knew all of the people young and old who lived near me. I roamed around the neighborhood and played without fear or parental supervision. I lived in an environment that was relatively safe. I’m sure it was safer than his.

My family did not have as much as his but there was less to be had. He has a nice big house with a bathroom for every bedroom. We did not own a house. We rented an apartment in a house that had no running water and no inside toilet. I knew only two families who had inside plumbing. This did not mean we were poorer than other people we knew. Our standard of living was considered average.

My toys were not as grand as his, but I had more than most children I knew. My daddy ran a local store and he gave me toys from the store. He won five bicycles at different times with Blue Horse tablet fronts. He gave a penny per front as trade for other school supplies. He sold the bicycles he won. He gave me one. It was too big for me. An older girl that lived near had a girl’s bicycle that I could ride. So we would swap.

He enjoys watching television. We didn’t even know what television was. Radio had evening shows that we listened to in the same way that we now watch television. His parents have cell phones that even take pictures. Few people even had telephones. There were only about 100 telephones in the entire county and cell phones only belonged to Dick Tracy. Mother worked as a local telephone operator and we were able to get one.

It was about this time daddy bought our first automobile. It was a used two seater Ford. My mother didn’t know how to drive and while learning she hit a fire plug in town. The only damage was a big dent in the right fender. His parents have two cars and they were bought new. Both of his parents drive.

He lives in a world very different than mine when I was five. I’m not so sure his is better.