Children of the /50’s–”The Only Ones”

By Richard Sexson b. 1949

The first of two posts

I was born in 1949. That made me one of the Leading-Edge Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1955. I have always felt those of us Leading-Edge boomers were more fortunate compared to those who came later. In some respects we were more fortunate than those who came just before us as well, since we had no sad memories of World War II. 

For the most part, we were the only ones to remember when most every family had two parents at home. We were also lucky that most of us (in our neighborhood) had a stay at home mom. In 1954 my parents and I moved into a large housing addition that had just been completed. The houses were modest by today’s standards, but they were the dream of our parents. The house my parents bought in 1954 would end up being the only home they ever owned.

Our little block was a cul-de-sac with just 13 houses on it. We always referred to it as “the circle.” Everyone moved in at about the same time over maybe a two month period. Of the 13 families, one couple decided to have no children and one couple was much older than the rest and were already retired. Of the remaining eleven families, five already had kids and the other six would soon start having kids after they moved in. Of the eleven mothers on the block, only two worked outside the home. Much of our play time was spent right there on our own street, especially in our younger years. With so many mothers around, it was no problem for my mom to go to the grocery and ask another mom to kind of keep an eye out for me.

The moms back then seemed to cherish their roles as stay at home moms. This feeling may have changed with mothers who came later, but I know at that point moms loved their life. Of those thirteen wives on that little block, I am fortunate to still have two of them still living. When I get together with them, they love to talk about the 1950’s and early 60’s. I’m sure if you asked them their major accomplishment in life, they would say raising their kids.

Of course times changed. Women started going back to work due to economic necessity. In other cases, the mothers of that day were more likely to be seeking the self-actualization that came from not just a job, but a career. Thus my Leading-Edge group was the only ones in a sense.  By the times these changes came, I was already in high school. 

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