Growing up in the 70’s was crazy…Bell-bottoms, Reagan was an actor… The thing that defined the 70s for me was that practically everyone was a swinger, including me and my parents. I grew up in the 70s going to a charter school where, every day, the kids would rotate whose parents they went home with.
Just like with sex-swingers, swinging with my parents gave me new experiences. For example, other parents had dogs! These dogs did not like random kids coming to their house every day. I got to experience 8 different dog bites, minor nerve damage, and many new friendships with the local ER nurses. They gave you a popsicle for finishing surgery! They gave me soooo many popsicles. If I only had one set of parents and one set of pets, my parents would’ve gotten rid of the dog the first time he disfigured me. I would have only experienced one popsicle.
All the kids in my class had to share clothes. Luckily, ponchos only came in one size. Unfortunately, pants did not. Us early bloomers had to trade snacks for pants that weren’t too tight to boogie in. Eventually, we had all grown enough that none of the clothes fit any of us. Not even the ponchos. No parent wanted to buy new clothes for a kid they were only going to see once a month. We went barefoot and wore long, loose fitting robes. We looked very classic 70’s in our yearbooks!
Whenever I came home to my actual parents, which was bound to happen sometimes, they always seemed just a little bit disappointed. They did raise me for 6 straight years before I came to school. I don’t blame them for being bored of me.
But, when I was with my own parents, I do remember getting this strange feeling walking into my old bedroom. The bedroom my parents had shared with dozens of other kids. Where they’d kissed those kids on the forehead, and sang those kids lullabies, and read those kids bedtime stories. I’d enter my old bedroom and start shaking with some combination of rage, fear, and jealousy until my parents called me down for dinner.
I never quite forgot that feeling. But I knew why we’d done what we did. For middle and high school I lived with my parents full time, and 2 people’s love was never quite enough.