I received an email today which was all about how "we survived" (those of us about 35 yrs & older!) doing all the "bad things" in life like drinking water from a hose & not a bottle, and eating cupcakes, white bread, real butter & drinking pop & we didn't gain weight because we played outside all day! Do you remember the summers? Mom had to call you in so many times to come in for dinner & then you'd eat dinner real fast to go back out & play again. You'd play until it was already dark. You couldn't see your friends even sometimes! Ha! My brothers making ramps for their bikes to be Evil Kievel and we nor our parents didn't worry about being banged up a bit! Heck I chipped one of my front teeth playing on a tire which for some reason was at the end of our property in the winter (man that was frozen!). Someone had left it there, not my folks! My mom still remembers my neighbor's grandma who lived 2 houses down coming to our backdoor to WARN my mother that I was hanging upside down from our Jungle Gym. My mom was AWESOME! She told the lady, "Shhhh..she might fall if you are too loud!"Nike didn't create "No Fear" we did! :-) One day mom had like 30 kids in our backyard and never ran out of Kool-Aid or ice sticks (as I hear a lawn mower outside...AHHH! Previous journal!)
I remember looking for Frogs in the window wells & going to "the swamp" across the street & at the end of the block & knee deep in the muck looking for tadpoles to bring home in a bucket & watch them change into frongs. I'm not sure if I was looking for a prince already then but... :-) All those frogs & no prince yet I tell ya! We played physically with our whole bodies and with real sticks not just a finger on a "joystick" for a Nintendo or XBox!! In fact, just this weekend when my little niece was over I got her to play outside! Grandpa had the decks for the sliding doors redone. She was up there & decided she was a princess coming out from her castle & waving to her subjects! We all laughed! Then she found a stick & was doing magic! YES!!!! To bad she can't find a spell for a prince for me! Ha!
Man such times of "planning" things we would do & then the "anxiety" of doing it and then the "laughter" afterwards when it didn't turn out just as you planned. Some of us have stories which have stuck with us over the years from these "Adventures!" :-) We "walked" to our friends house...blocks!!!!! We rode bikes all day! Today kids are out of breath to run a short distance. You couldn't run away from your "arch enemy", many times kids who were older than you, even if you wanted to. The good thing is your "arch enemy" may not even be able to run to catch you anyway! Remember Ralphie in the Christmas Story & the "bullies!" BB guns...I know today they have real guns! Man things are just so whacked today!
And everyone in the neighborhood knew each other (or most!) Parents looked out for each other's kids! You didn't have to worry about your neighbor because you actually knew them! You talked over the fence, offered them dinner off the grill or a drink! Heck you might even just mow their lawn while you were doing yours....amazing! Parents didn't even worry that much if they didn't see their kids. They knew they were playing at the home of a child of someone they knew and would be "taken care of!" Today we actually have to get involved in community groups to find out who our next door neighbor even is!
Oh & reading! Now I know the younger kids read but I think they stop much earlier today! Remember the movie "On Golden Pond"? Norman gets Billy to read "Treasure Island" when he learns he has never read it! And we acted out these stories then! If you haven't seen this movie...you need to! Just the music is relaxing!
There is something interesting here though....we grew up this way, so these are our kids who are not doing this! Who do we have to blame? Think about it? Is the Nintendo industry like the Tobacco & Fast Food industry? They just want our money...they hypnotized us to buy! :-)
The other point is again "youth is wasted on the young!" When did we stop playing like kids? We just have to start some "Big Kids Play Groups"!! Like Tom Hanks in Big, and when Tim Allen brings the games of their youth in the 2nd Santa Claus movie! "Rock Em Sock Em", Toy Soldiers ETC! The toy industry is missing a potential market! You know one day I was so exhausted, I just wanted a hot relaxing bath. My niece still had her toys in the tub. I was too exhausted to take them out. I didn't care! I got in with them. I felt weird! WHY??!! Then I felt weird because I thought I couldn't play with them. When did this happen? I forced myself to play with them. I swear next birthday gifts I'm giving toys from our youth. I'm going to give gift baskets of tub toys for adults! Maybe I should start this whole thing marketing wise! :-) Who wants to start a group? Email me! (boy that says it right there...email me! Ha!) Remember kids coming to the back door & asking your mom "Can Tommy come out & play?" When is the last time you heard that? They just IM each other! 6 kids...all on IM! My older niece does it now! I HAVE TO SAVE HER! :-) Ok, so I better get off the computer & go outside or do something with more than just my fingers myself! :-)