Remembering I Can Still Play Outside All Day If I Want To…
Saturday, June 22, 2013
When I think of summer I think most of the days of my childhood. My sister and I would play outside from morning until evening, and even then continue playing into the early evening: Hide & Seek in the back yards of our suburban neighborhood (there were few fences and lots of trees) with a throng of kids of all ages. Many nights we would end up at a sleep over in someone’s back yard: 10-15 sleeping bags, lumps across the lawn. In the morning a mom would be up, and make breakfast for the crowd.
Mid summer my sister and I could pick a bowl of raspberries each from a neighbors garden; we ate them outside with milk and sugar. We also stole apples and pears from a neighbor’s orchard. I think they knew very well we were eating from their trees but we felt so sneaky!
We could read and do what we wanted for the most part. No homework “blighted” our days. Sometimes we set up games like Monopoly, Scrabble or Life and leave them up for days, or play them outside on a blanket with a transistor radio near by.
We had adventures in the woods that required packing lunches and heading out to a creek and back. Someone always fell in!
Other days we arrived at the local park for an all day adventure. Park leaders planned activities. We made papier-mâché puppet heads (papier-mâché over old light bulbs) and painted them. We played tetherball and played in wading pools.
I am a lot older now and sometimes I forget it’s perfectly fine to be outside all day, to play in the water, to hang out with friends and to eat raspberries outside. I really can let go of my adult responsibilities from time to time (decide not to have homework) and to fiddle around with art supplies, a card game, or a walk in the woods or park. Heck, I can even sleep outside under the stars!