That Sounds Like a Mis-Spent Childhood

This post starts out with a quote from a coworker who usually knows just the “right” thing to say in the “right” situations. He makes many of us at work smile and laugh – and maybe sometimes reach for that HR department we don’t have (thankfully.)

For those who aren’t in the know, I gained this ability to draw some stuff on an Etch-A-Sketch. Things like basic houses, perspective views of the horizon, my name in cursive, and maps mostly of the United States. The last one is something I have proved to coworkers a couple times. Here’s photographic proof:

Etch a Sketch
Not bad, right?

But after all this, my coworker’s funny quote got me thinking a bit deeper about the whole idea of a mis-spent childhood. What does that exactly mean and did I have that? What does a properly spent childhood look like? Perhaps it’s getting out there and having fun experiences, running around the neighborhood with friends, getting into trouble in high school doing all those things you’re not supposed to, and just goofing off. Instead, I apparently was nerding out on Etch a Sketches and computers, complete with printed out keyboards and screents, made out of boxes from Aldi.

There’s a lot about my own childhood experiences that certainly overlap with my friends. And in the same breath I feel like there is probably a lot more that doesn’t (e.g. not seeing almost all the classic DIsney films, somehow missing most 80’s TV shows, not reading or knowing anything about the classic childhood books and stories, and so on.) While I rarely felt in want, I also never felt lacking what I needed. So maybe I didn’t do all the stuff one may say is quintessential to the childhood experience, but I remember to tell myself everything I did – and didn’t – do is part of what’s formed me.