Some of things I wasn’t allowed to do as a kid around the age of 8.
- Watch violent cartoons i.e. X-Men and GI-Joes (My Dad said it made me too violent)
- Watch cartoons with magic i.e. Smurfs (My Dad didn’t want me turning into Harry Potter, jk. Christians don’t like magic… or at least in those days haha)
- Watch anything that shows disrespect to adults i.e. Simpsons (For obvious reasons)
- Drink Soda (My Dad said it made me too hyper)
- Eat jelly (My Dad said it made me too hyper)
What I was allowed to do at the age of 8
- Cook ramen noodles (I was always hungry)
- Jump off the roof into the pool
- Watch wrestling before church on Sunday
- Ride my bike by myself to the dirt lot across from the red Catholic church
- Work on my fort
- Drink coffee black
- Mow the lawn
I’ll talk about that last one a little more in detail. I remember as a kid I dreaded wearing the same clothes in the same week. And I felt like it was such a big deal to some kids. I really wanted to have at least a different shirt and a different pair shorts for each day of the week so five shirts five pairs of shorts. That way, I never had to go to school wearing the same thing twice in a week. Most kids at school could wear different types of outfits each week. But for me it was a struggle to make sure I didn’t wear the same thing twice.
My Dad taught me how to mow my lawn when I was 8. We had an old red gas self-propelled lawn mower, that you had to flip gears to move. I started mowing our lawn with my Dad’s supervision for a few years. Eventually he sold that mower, and bought an electric mower. I started taking that mower around our neighborhood and mowing lawns for a few dollars. My Dad also would find me jobs for people at his job. Although, he actually paid his work friends to hire me.
Eventually I got my first steady summer job at age 13 working for my Dad. This was Phoenix, so we started in 100-degree weather at 5am and ended in 120-degree weather at 2pm. During those summers, I did a variety of jobs that ranged from moving flagstone, shoveling rocks, and digging trenches sprinkled with some landscaping. I started off at $2.75 an hour and was getting $3.50. by my second summer. But all that manual labor at a young age made getting my first job really easy because all I had to do was sit in the air-conditioned building selling shoes, Brooks running shoes to be exact. And most people who knew about Brooks were going to buy them anyways. So, I didn’t have to make a selling point. I started making $7.50 and then I made enough money to wear whatever I want to in a week. But then I went in the army.
And then I deployed to Iraq. In Iraq, I didn’t have to worry about what I wore, because it was all the same. And I wore the same two army uniforms my entire deployment. One was for missions and the other was for when I got visits from our battalion commander or other random officers who came around our patrol base.
So now, I’m 32. I’m in grad school. And I have to admit, I wear the same outfits multiple times in a week, and don’t care haha. I mean really, our ancestors (or at least my tribe) didn’t even wear clothes that often. And if they did, they wore the same rabbit skin everyday. Which also makes me wonder why we think ribbon shirts are traditional. In reality we should be wearing some rabbit, bear, or deer skin for our traditional regalia.
But I get teased occasionally, mostly by my sisters or my wife telling me I can’t wear my Stars Wars shirt again. I wear the same clothes two days in a row, and it’s probably because I don’t mow the lawn anymore… or maybe it’s because my childhood hero, Wolverine, (who I never watched on tv) wore the same thing every day and no one batted an eye… Which brings me to my next thought. If Wolverine wore the same clothes every day, and if I wore the same clothes every day, does that make me Wolverine? At the very least, it means I’m closer to being a hero. And if you want to be hero too, start wearing the same clothes every day of the week.