Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Things Our Children Will Never Know

I was reflecting the other day about how much has changed since I was a child (just writing that sentence makes me feel super old) and about some of the things that my children will never get to experience, and I honestly felt sad that some of my favorite memories as a child are things that will never even be on their radar. This led me to think about all the things from my childhood that my kids are missing out on.


Please don’t tell me that I’m the only one who would check the mailbox every fall in anticipation of the JCPenney Christmas Catalog arrival? My sisters and I were all so obsessed that we  had to rotate who got to take it to bed with them each night. I LOVED flipping through that thing and folding down the tips of the pages that had stuff that I just HAD to have. I know catalogs are still around, but when is the last time that you actually sat and looked at one versus hopping online to place your order?

Throwback Tip – Gather catalogs and let your kids play catalog lady or man. The game is simple. One person is the order taker and the other person is the customer. The customer calls in and places her order (complete with order number and details such as size and color) to the order taker. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent playing this growing up.

medium_2740217626Recording Songs on a Cassette Tape

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my bedroom listening to the radio and hoping that the next song that they would play would be “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion so I could push the red record button on my boom box and record the song off the radio. When it finally came on (the key was to press record right when the first note was played and end the recording before the DJ started talking) I would feel so victorious and would immediately start planning out my next song to stalk the radio for. I have to admit, my mix tapes from those years are probably award worthy.

Throwback Tip – Just show your kids a cassette tape and ask them if they even know what it is. Then tell them that you used to have to REWIND it. Watch their little minds get blown with this information.

No Cell Phones

Remember when you knew all your friends home phone numbers by heart because you actually had to call their houses? And if they happened not to be home you left a message with their parents? Your parents could also tease you when your high school crush called, because once again it all happened on the family home phone. When you finally did enter the world of cell phones, you used a cell phone in a bag that was STRICTLY for emergencies only. My husband actually called the phone in my dorm room to ask me out on our first date. My kids are going to think I’m prehistoric when I tell them this story.

medium_3152515899Oregon Trail on Floppy Disk

Seriously… the best game ever. Remember putting the floppy disk into the little slot and the computer making a weird noise as it read the disk? And then the little wagon would pop up on the screen and off you would go on your journey just praying that you would not get some disease or starve to death. I know the Oregon Trail still exists in super elaborate forms, but nothing can compare to the original. And don’t even get me started on how excited I would get at school when we got to play Oregon Trail as a reward for good behavior.

What are some other things that our children will never get to know the joy of?

photo credit: cassettes via photopin cc
photo credit: erikthenorsk via photopin cc

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7 Responses to Things Our Children Will Never Know

  1. Sarah Farnsworth
    Sarah Farnsworth February 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

    everytime we go to my parents (who still have a land line) Clare gets so confused what’s ringing and how people talk into it and make calls!

  2. Bekah Riker February 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    One time I was at Target with just Norah and she saw one of their big red land line phones on the wall and she asked me, “what is that?” Really?

  3. Erica February 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    *69 and *67!!!

  4. Jennifer
    Jennifer February 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Awesome! Loved this post, it made me nostalgic! 🙂

  5. Ashley
    Ashley February 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Dial up internet!! Waiting for the modem to work and then not being able to use the phone.

  6. Jodi February 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    So we have an older van and it has a cassette player in it so my boys DO know what cassette tapes are. We have a neighbor who gave us a big tub of books on cassette tape which we LOVE! Although we had to run to Salvation Army thrift store to buy a portable cassette player for the house!

  7. Angela Squires
    Angela Squires February 25, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    I thought of this post today when I heard the song “Automatic” by Miranda Lambert. Check out the lyrics if your aren’t familiar. 🙂

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