FOR ALL THE NAVAJO KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!
First, we survived being born to mothers who herd sheep in the cold, carried buckets of water, chopped wood, and worked the cornfields in the heat while they carried us. They ate mutton stew and blue corn mush, fried bread, drank black coffee, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Our baby cribs were flat cradle boards, with sacred stories and songs.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets as we lived in Hogans and brush shade houses. When we rode our horses, we had no helmets. Not to mention, clan relatives recognized us from a distant and picked us up while hitchhiking.
As children riding in the back of a horse drawn wagon, absorbing all of nature on a warm day was always a special treat. No such thing as seat belts.
We drank water from the natural spring where the livestock drank and NOT from a bottle and no one actually died from it.
We shared one soft drink with our brothers, sisters, and cousins from one bottle at least four times a year and get one piece of hard candy out of a month.
We had fried potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and at times roasted mutton liver covered with fat placed between tortilla and tea with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight, because
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the sun was just above the rim of the west horizon.
No one worried about us or thought about where we were all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our Hogan out of damp sand, used rocks for horses and trucks, sounds of shifting gears were heard as our imagination ran wild and built dirt roads with our hands, even before Wal Mart invented floor rugs with imprints of roads and communities.
We rode on old rusty car hood tied to the saddle behind the horse and laughed with mud flying in our faces. After that we learned to solve the problem and made improvements.
We did not have Play Stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 500 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no mp3 players, no Ipod, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........
WE HAD WORK TO DO and we were always outside in all kinds of weather conditions and respected nature!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and bad scraps, and never told our parents, if you did you were told “diigiz” from these accidents.
We drank from muddy ponds and puddles with bugs and worms and made mud houses made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We did not have birthday parties or given birthday presents, we made our own toys and guns out of sticks and we play shopping by building trading posts using empty cans and bottles, using what ever paper we could find to use as paper money.
We rode horses, donkeys, or walked to a relative's house and knocked on the door and knew how to greet and shook hands with everyone, down to the babies!
The idea of a parent bailing us out of one lost sheep from one hundred or more heads of sheep was unheard of, you were sent out to find it.
This generation has produced Navajos with their language and culture intact!
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the government regulated our lives for our own good.
Kids now you know how brave your parents were.
written by a parent, that was raised on the Navajo REZ