When did I grow up? To be honest, I really don’t think I have. Certain things have changed as I grow older, like not coming home with holes in the knees of my jeans. Remember when your mom would sew patches in the holes in your clothes? I do. Do you remember when they came out with “iron-on” patches and they didn’t seem to work as well? I do. Now we pay money for clothes with holes and tears in them and my mother just shakes her head. If by chance we do put those holes or tears in them we throw them away. Do you ever wonder where retailers get those clothes that are pre-abused? Is there a department somewhere with people of all sizes (s-xxl) that are just out playing for days on end like we did as kids to get the right look in the jeans we want? I want that job!
Even grand-daddy long-leg spiders were huge back then! Now they seem more like distant-uncle long-legs.
I do remember a lot from growing up that doesn’t have much to do with the actual event, but are still good memories. Like the wooden screen door that made the “bang….bang, bang!” sound as you ran through it. Shortly followed by the sound of “don’t run in the house!”. And of course we were on our way outside to search and explore everywhere. To find a weird bug, toad or an ant hill to watch until we got bored with it. Or after a rain, to stand in the water running through the ditch, all the while throwing sticks and leaves or the occasional weird bug in the water to watch them go to wherever they would go. Nowadays, we watch The Discovery Channel to see the exact same thing. Even grand-daddy long-leg spiders were huge back then! Now they seem more like distant-uncle long-legs. Just not the same, right? As kids we could smell mud from a hundred yards away and as if in a trance, we would run to it like we were lost in the desert and just found water. If every crime scene included mud, a kid could solve the mystery. If nothing else, we could bring the crime scene home on our clothes. One thing is for sure, we didn’t leave one stone un-turned. In fact, we didn’t leave one stone where it was. We threw them as far and as hard as we could. All day.
Once in a while we would dig a hole just to dig. It would start out looking for worms and turn into some archeological find. A broken piece of glass or piece of metal that held all the answers to questions our young minds didn’t even know to ask. But it was history we held in our hands. Now we watch The History Channel…
When did we stop climbing trees? It was easy and fun and while you were up there you could see forever. Or as far as the leaves would let you. We would spend hours up in a tree just looking around and waiting for someone to come along looking for us. When we needed to get down you just swung on a branch and then jumped. I guess back then kids had rubber bones, because today would yield different results. And yelling! When did we stop yelling at the top of our lungs for no reason? We communicated with Todd or Alex and Evan who lived in Green Acres by yelling back and forth. Sadly, today you would be told to shut up.
Whatever happened to just coming home sweaty, tired and dirty all in the name of having fun? I can still see the cloud of dust when I took off my socks. Scrapes covered with a days worth of dirt and sweat would heal I know, but back then it took longer because we wouldn’t leave the scab alone. Blisters from riding a bike with no hand-grips or from swinging from the monkey bars at the grade school hurt for sure, but it didn’t slow us down. We were balls-to-the-wall, who could ride or run the fastest, drink from the hose kids. Now, as an adult I still do some of the things I did back then, like drinking from the hose and yelling. And I still find weird bugs pretty entertaining. Running fast? Oh, I could if I had to. Climbing trees? That would cause the neighbors to call the cops. But it hasn’t stopped me from wanting to, and deep down I think it’s something we all want to do. Just make sure you have a spotter when you jump out of the tree!