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Friday, November 6, 2009

Childhood Perceptions

Late last night while talking to my mother in law I got an idea for my next post, childhood perceptions. It is interesting to hear a child's take on a certain situation, then talk to an adult that was also there and hear two absolutely different stories. Even as grown ups we base our childhood experiences on our childhood memories. Sometimes we rationalize and can see "wow that was a once in a lifetime experience" or "wow that was really dangerous." However, that is not always the case.

I love history. I love reading about it, talking about it, etc., I love English history, but I also love studying up on my husband's culture. I watched the "History of Czars" and after its two or three hour sequence I immediately wanted to watch it again. I am the dork that now has it on video. Having said that, a few days ago I youtubed the Soviet Union. I got a lot of cool different videos on Reagan jokes, Russians songs, etc.,

One that struck me was a news reel on the fall of the Soviet Union. I was nine when this happened and was also in Europe. I remember us not going to Russia because of it, but I don't remember much about it except the fact it happened. Interested, I opened it up. Only to be completely amazed by the things I saw. In Moscow, there were tanks in the streets, civilians carrying weapons in plain view, etc., Obviously it looked a bit chaotic. My husband also happened to live in Moscow during that same time period and really never mentioned anything except the fact he wanted to play on the tanks and his mother wouldn't let him. Curiously I asked him, "Did you witness some of the things going on in Moscow during this time? It looks very chaotic. It must of been dangerous." My husband's only reply to that was, "It was fine. I still played outside. It was perfectly safe. It was just more dangerous around the Red Square." I took his word for it thinking he must of lived somewhere on the outskirts where the danger wasn't as real and said nothing more as I dived more into my dorky, history, youtube research.

Yesterday while having a one on one chat with my Mom (mother in law), I brought up how I saw the video (the one below) and told her my husband's and my conversation. I implied that they must of been in a safer part of Moscow because he said that it was not in dangerous in the least bit. My Mom looked at me with wide eyes saying, "It was not safe at all. I don't know where Jenya is getting that. It was quite scary. Not as scary as it was in 1993 and thank God we weren't there then, but it was not safe. It was complete chaos and Jenya was not allowed to go outside very much during those times. People were shooting each other in the streets for really no reason. A lot of death happened in those times. "

I sat back in awe of this on how even during the most chaotic times a child can see things totally different then the way the world is actually is. I find that fascinating. I know as parents we try very much to protect our children from things as I am sure my Mom did to my husband. However there is only so much we can protect them from them actually knowing the truth and needing to know the truth about things, and still children perceive things as being totally different.

Do you have a story that you know on childhood perceptions vs. reality?

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