I don't have the joy of catalogues of family photos to show my kids my life when I was a kid. They don't know that I looked like a boy as did their Aunty thanks to our mothers desire for us to have our hair cut very short, and that we'd go to the shop for our mum's cigarettes (!) and the shop keeper would ask "what do you want Son?". And we'd want to say we were girls but were too embarrassed.
They don't know that each summer I'd be let free to go "brown as a berry" and my brown legs would be shown off with pride to friends "she's got her grandfathers skin", Mum would say proudly. My son has got the same skin but if there is any sign of colour on it, I take that as a fail as a parent.
My kids don't understand that the Sister and I had the one toy basket with the same toys that we played with for years, and if one broke, then we'd try and fix it with Sellotape or just play with it broken. We didn't get to go and buy new ones. No one did. There was no Target or Big W Bumper Toy Spectacular's each July, and our mother wouldn't be pushing a trolley laden with large boxes through the throngs of other mothers. We had what we had, and that was all we knew. And I think we may have complained a little that we got a fake Barbie doll who's heads fell off quite quickly. But other than that, we accepted what we had without question. Everyone did.
My kids don't understand that we would drive without seatbelts, in the back seat of our parent's cigarette smoke filled car, with our dad driving after definitely more than 2 glasses of beer/wine. I'm ok my kids don't understand about that.
My boys don't understand the joy of being carefree, of making club houses in the bush by the beach, of lying in forests by myself on the pine needles, listening to the wind in the trees and watching fantails, while a block away my family did their stuff, probably knowing I was down their or maybe not. Of driving towards a river, three astride on a 50cc motorbike, no helmets, just the hot wind, and towels around our shoulders. Of freedom, and not even "controlled" freedom as I experiment with my almost teen, but real freedom.
But then I don't have memories of my parents being as much a part of my life as I am of my boys.
And I wouldn't swap that for all the freedom in the world.
How do you share memories of your childhoods with your children as they live theirs?