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Work On Your Game Content/confidence/Shielded From Life’s Truths
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Shielded From Life’s Truths

When I was a child playing in my bedroom, I would find these small pellets on the floor, always close to the right-angled corners where the floors met the walls. I didn’t know what they were or where they came from, never thought to find out, and never asked anyone.

I remember hearing, at all times of the day, sounds in the walls of my bedroom and other rooms in our house. Again, I never wondered what it was — I figured that since the house had been there for many years, many decades probably, it was normal. The house was “settling,” as they say, with these random in-the-walls sounds at all times of the day. Logically that didn’t make sense, but my young mind never bothered to question it.

We had an exterminator, Bill, who came by every two weeks or so and sprayed his extermination stuff in the same spots where I’d find those little pellets. Bill was friendly. I liked how his spray smelled in my bedroom. But, despite Bill’s consistency and friendliness, I don’t think Bill (or his spray) was any good. I don’t remember the sounds in the walls ever stopping, or the pellets ceasing to be in the corners of my room.

My room had hardwood flooring. Starting in my junior and senior years of high school and continuing through my moving out of my parent’s home in my twenties, I often slept with light music playing bedside. Hopefully, I reasoned, the music would drown out the scampering on the floors that never failed to wake me.

To this day, I’m a light sleeper.


I recently read something in which the author made an interesting point.

Parents in the economic middle class, the author proposed, shield their kids from adult realities. The kids know less about what’s really going on, ask fewer questions of adults, challenge authority less often, and mature more slowly — maybe more “naturally,” depending whom you ask.

Parents who raise children in poverty, on the other hand, do their best to expose their kids to as many adult realities as possible, as soon as possible. Impoverished children don’t get to be children for nearly as long as those more economically privileged; they “grow up fast.” The kid doesn’t have to ask what’s going on; they’re told and shown what’s going on. The kid is more ready to deal with more adult realities sooner rather than later. This can produce positive (maturity, dependability) or negative (crime, unwanted early pregnancy) results.

My family was lower-middle class (something else I didn’t know until later). I would not describe my childhood as “privileged” by any means; it was more “have what we need” than anything. I remember getting to high school, where many of my classmates came from even less than what I had (many did not have both parents at home — but, strangely enough, often had more and better clothing than me) but were more advanced in “worldly” things than I.

Going places on their own.
Not going straight home after school.
Money to do what they wanted with.

I felt like I was playing catch-up.

For Your Game

My parents didn’t tell us (sister and me) anything. And we knew better than to ask anything. What I understood about bill paying or rents or mortgages or income-based budgeting I learned in books, or at school. We never talked about money; as a result I grew up with some really bad money habits that I didn’t uncover until adulthood. If anything, the money topic was tied to fear and scarcity and not-enough.

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