Thursday, June 22, 2006
Forgotten childhood pastimes
Do you remember heading out at eight in the morning on your bike and staying gone until suppertime? Or playing hop-scotch or jacks in the driveway?
When I was little and all of those 'new-fangled' devices started coming out, like the Nintendo or cartoons *gasp* all day on nickelodeon, my mother was the kind of mom who booted you out once you'd had breakfast and made you PB&J to eat outside at lunch. She didn't want to see you again until the sun was setting. And if she did see you, you'd best be ready for some housework because she was going to put you to work cleaning something. So mostly, it was easier to stay outside.
Remember croquet?
Or badminton?
Or just riding your bike for hours with your friends?
We used to rollerblade. We'd leave with our rollerblades and head up to the place where all of the kids would be meeting. There was always that place.
And on days when I just didn't feel like taking off and playing with all the other kids, I would sit in my yard and build little "fairy houses" out of rocks and sticks and such... because I had read this book where this little girl had built tiny houses in her yard and all the fairies would come...
Yeah, I had an overactive imagination.
I'd spend hours sitting in my yard building little tiny homes for them and laying in the grass thinking about how cool it would be if they did come.
And if they had powers. Because when you are a kid, powers are the coolest thing ever.

So, now as a parent, one of the things that sucks for me is I've never had a house with the stereotypical "yard" or "driveway" so my kids don't really play outside much.
They've never learned to ride a bike or been kicked out for the entirety of a weekend to just be outside. They've never built fairy houses or played croquet.
But the worst part of it is that I don't think they care.
Bikes and badminton and croquet and fairy houses aren't what they used to be.
My kids have digital cameras and Ipods and Leapsters and cartoons available to them 24/7. My brother got them a trampoline and they still barely go outside.
A trampoline!
What I would have given for my very own trampoline when I was their age.
Things have changed.
Hopscotch and kickball have been replaced with barbie.com and Playstation. Kids would rather sit on their PC and play video games online with kids they've never met than go for a bike ride with their next door neighbor.
Is this bad or is it just a sign of the changing times.
I mean, how the hell can you get all hot and bothered about a yo-yo when the latest Tekken has just come out? And you got the cheat codes off of cheatcodes.com??
It makes me wonder what the next stimulant will be.
How is the next generation of kids going to keep themselves entertained?
Croquet and badminton and yo-yos... they're all things of the past. They are dust collectors in your garage. What happens when The Internet and Ipods and Xboxes join them?
so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 6:05 AM
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