We didn’t have today’s endless diversions, but I was never bored.
Kids cringe when grandparents start a sentence with “When I was your age…” And rightly so. What do we old duffers know that could possibly interest a child? Well, forgive me Steffi , Brad, Michael, Jason, Maddi, Kenzy and Davis, but I don’t understand why you so often claim to be bored; why you often say “there’s nothing to do.” There’s a skateboard in the garage. There’s a basketball hoop in the driveway. The library is a short bike ride away. You have computers, videos and games galore. You text your friends. You sign up for dance or hockey or swimming or soccer.
When I was a kid (sorry about that), my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a bike until I was going to high school and needed a vehicle to get to the next town. My friends and I did a lot of walking, running and exploring. When I was a kid, I went out to play and my mother assumed I would come home when (a) I was hungry or (b) the early evening street lights turned on. When I was a kid, we sometimes drew a chalk map on the sidewalk, broke up into teams, and challenged each other to follow the map (which often took us all over town). When I was a kid we followed the ice truck and, when the iceman wasn’t looking, stole chips of ice and wrapped them in newspaper because they were too cold to hold in our bare hands. Then we sat on the curb and sucked them until they disappeared. When I was a kid, we sometimes wheedled five cents from our parents for a double dip ice cream cone. Each of us would say that our friend’s parent had already given her five cents. We giggled when we thought we fooled them. When I was a kid, Christmas morning was magic because my stocking would have a big apple, a huge orange, a bag of hard candy and some shiny new pennies tucked in the toe. There might even be something extra, such as a lace handkerchief from Woolworths. When I was a kid I made muffins every Saturday morning under my mother’s watchful eye. Then, before I went out to play, my job was to scrub the kitchen floor. Those tasks earned me my freedom for the rest of the day.
When I was a kid, life seemed full of adventure and possibilities and I seemed to be happy all the time. And I was never bored.