My husband was born thirteen days after me in the fall of 1977. Unlike most people my age, he actually graduated from high school in 1995, a year ahead of the pack, just like I did. We lived on the same floor of Letts Hall freshman year of college, and his entire extended family lived just over an hour from my childhood home.
I thought we shared a collective experience, two kids growing up in the 80’s in America. And then I found out he never owned a Nintendo NES.
What is it about sharing a collective experience that draws people together? When I found out that my husband didn’t spend his childhood summer days negotiating a Duck Hunt trade for The Legend of Zelda, I was shocked. Who was this man that I married?
Somehow having an answer to things such as “Where were you during the Challenger disaster?” and “What Thermos lunchbox did you carry?” brings us together placing us instantly on a common ground. I love that I have an older brother who remembers the same childhood experiences that I do as well as a sister-in-law who was right there with us starting when I was eleven. When my kids stand in front of Cinderella’s Castle watching fireworks together, I know that someday they’ll talk about those moments in the Magic Kingdom with each other and feel connected by those shared memories.
What is the one thing from your own childhood that immediately takes you back and connects you to the people around you?