Welcome to the . . .

This month’s Museum of Me prompt (suggested by Carole) has us looking back at our 10-year-old selves . . . and wondering what they might think of the way we “turned out” as grown ups.

I was a 10-year-old in 1969. It was an exciting time, 1969; lots of things were happening. Nixon was sworn in as President. Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Woodstock! The pace of protests against the Vietnam War was picking up. Sesame Street debuted on public television. The Beatles recorded their last album together (Abbey Road). The NY Mets won the World Series. And the average cost of a gallon of gas? 35 cents!

So let’s start here . . .
What did “the future” look like to me-at-10?

Well, I was very much a Child of the Space Age! I grew up watching the “real” astronauts and space missions on television, alongside the “make believe” space adventures of The Jetsons, the Robinson family of Lost in Space, and the original Star Trek crew. At 10, I imagined a future . . . in space! Maybe even on another planet! I just knew, at the very least, I’d live in a world with flying cars, cloud-houses, and robots to do all my household chores! I also thought about becoming the First Girl Astronaut (which, at the time, was quite a stretch of the imagination.)

What did I like to do?

At 10, I was a child of many interests. I loved playing outside with my friends. I liked hopscotch and jump rope and jacks and tag and 4-square. I rode my bike all the time, and I liked roller skating, too. We had a little pool in the backyard, and I swam every day all summer long. I loved the summer parks-and-rec program where we played games and did crafts. I went to camp. Swam on the swim team. Did ballet.

At the same time, I also loved my quiet pursuits. Reading. Making stuff. Drawing and coloring. I kept a diary, and hid it in the dark recesses of my toy box. I had learned to knit by this time – although I found it very tedious and slow – but I loved to embroider and do hand-stitching. I had a keen interest in learning to sew on an actual sewing machine, but hadn’t tried it yet. 

I didn’t play with toys much anymore, although I did keep my Barbies and my collection of Liddle Kiddles around. I liked to play board games, but only if I won. Thanks to my babysitter and a couple of older friends, I had recently started listening to music on the radio, and had a little transistor of my own (which I thought was the epitome of “neat” – my adjective of choice at age 10). I also had a portable record player, and I’d started amassing my collection of 45s.

What were my biggest fears at 10?

I was not a terribly worried or anxious child, but I did have a few things that really bothered me: tornadoes (I lived in Northern Illinois; we had lots of tornadoes), something happening to my mom (who I loved dearly), and radiation poisoning (because I was also a child of the Cold War). I was also somewhat concerned about quicksand and lockjaw . . . but for the most part, at 10 I was pretty carefree.

What did I want to be doing “when I grew up?”

At 10, I couldn’t really imagine “growing up” in a sense of having . . . plans. At 10, I really couldn’t imagine a future where I would be a teenager or (gasp!) an . . . adult. When pressed about “what I wanted to be when I grew up” I usually gave the following answers: an astronaut, a ballerina, a teacher, or a mom. (I was always encouraged about the “teacher” or “mom” answers. Not so much on the astronaut or the ballerina responses.)

I could hardly imagine, at 10, having a boyfriend (ewwww! boys!), let alone a husband or children! I did, though, think maybe I would grow up to marry . . . Donny Osmond, if anyone. Or maybe Bobby Sherman or David Cassidy.

What was my personality like?

Oh, I was a bossy little thing at 10! Full of good ideas and a lot of energy, I had a big imagination, and an optimism that anything could happen. I was coordinated and competitive, and not very “girlie” in my style or attitude. That said, I was always on my best behavior at school and I never got in trouble (meaning . . . I didn’t get caught). I hated to wear shoes and socks. I picked at my nails a lot. I liked my hair out of my face. At 10, I was at the cusp of . . . finding out that some of those traits weren’t “becoming of girls” and that did cause me some consternation as I got a little older and headed into the teen years. Eventually I figured out, as most of us do, when I needed to be quiet and when I could be loud. At 10, though? I was still pretty loud.

What would 10-year-old me think of 64-year-old me?

Well. I think she’d be happy to hear that many of the things she held dear at 10 . . . stuck. The reading, the sewing, the drawing. She’d be surprised that I kept up with the knitting (mostly, I think she’d be surprised that I sat still long enough to actually finish something), and thrilled to see some of the things “we” turned out on the sewing machine. I think she’d be impressed that I’d kept up with keeping “diaries” – but mad that I’d not saved those diaries from my childhood. (She’d also be sad that I got rid of the Barbie stuff. . . ) She’d be happy about the music, for sure. And happy to know I still like to “play” and stay active outside. 

I know she’d be devastated to learn that our mom had died, although she’d be happy and relieved to learn we had 57 good years with her before that happened. I think her eyes would pop out of her head when she heard “we” would go through a tornado – and survive – 10 years later, in 1979.

While disappointed in a few things (the flying cars, for sure . . . and never meeting Donny Osmond, of course), I think my 10-year-old self would be very happy to see how things turned out for “us” . . . and how so many things she’d been/loved at 10 remained deeply embedded in “our” heart and soul at 64! 


How about you? What do you think your 10-year-old self would think about the you of today?


Thanks for visiting the Museum of Me. Watch for new exhibits . . . on the 2nd Friday of each month. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to create a Museum of Me along with me on your own blog, let me know. I’ll send you our “exhibit schedule” (a list of monthly prompts) and we can tell our stories together.