The Guy’s Horizon: The Future of Kids(Part One: Remembering)
When we were kids things were different. Waking up each
summer day, we had no idea what we might be doing, other than possibly getting
into trouble. After breakfast, we’d hightail it into the neighborhood to see
what was on the agenda for the day. These activities consisted of: Rock Throwing, Capture the Flag, Kickball, Bike Riding(w/out helmets of course), Exploring the Woods, Crossing Creaks, Buying Comics and Candy, and basically
doing whatever we could think of. We’d go back home only when the hunger pangs
were too much to stand.
Upon arriving for lunch we’d often be accompanied by a few
kids from the neighborhood. It was kind of an unspoken agreement among the
moms, that whomever showed up hungry, got fed. It was pretty easy to feed an
army of kids back then. Sandwiches, chips and Koolaid were standards on the menu.
Sometimes we’d get apple slices or carrots, but we didn’t visit those houses
often. We always knew which houses kept Ho Hos, Twinkies, Bologna, Doritos and
other junk food, and we’d magically appear around lunch or snack time.
Things were easy. Free spirited. After lunch we’d be gone
til around dusk, give or take an hour or so. Our parents would just yell out
the back door for us to come home. If we didn’t hear them another parent would,
and that parent would just yell too. It was like a long distance telephone game
ringing throughout the neighborhood. And somehow it worked.
However, our life as a kid wasn’t without a lot of growing
pains. The laws of the neighborhood
were clear. The biggest, oldest and strongest kids made the rules. They were The Captains and picked first. (The
teams were NEVER fair.) They were also the referees, which of course made things
even more lopsided. They also decided when the game was over. Other kids could
voice their opinions, but the rules still didn’t change. Every day the “bosses”
would pick their favorite kid for the day, similar to favored nation status.
This kid would join the big kids for the day and get to do be a boss too. The
problem was, once the kid got a taste of what it was like to be in charge, it
was hard to come back to the other side. But eventually as the big kids moved
on, we all got to be bosses. And so we elbowed and punched and argued and
negotiated our way through childhood. And we learned how to survive.
Part Two: The Present and Future
Tomorrow: Random thought of the week? ..and…. The Weekend.