Recently, I’ve seen a lot of notes on Facebook where people post nostalgic reminiscences of their childhood playtime activities — ones where they never wore protective gear, played outside in the dark without supervision, and used their imaginations instead of a video game controller.
I started to reminisce as well, thinking back to my childhood and the great fun I had. I then started to feel sad that my children will not have those types of experiences because I am an overprotective ubermom. I also lived, at least most of my childhood, in the country where wide open fields and large trees were my playground, whereas my children will grow up in a small town that is densely populated, covered in pavement and buildings.
Some of my favorite memories include (most in which my children will never partake):
3rd grade — Climbing into my favorite tree to read, along with my Gubby bear. Playing outside and exploring all day without supervision.
4th grade — Two words: cherry bumps. Some of you know what I am talking about! Jumping off the swings after I got as high as I could.
5th grade — Climbing into the large pine tree in the front yard to wait for the bus. (Being covered in sap for school was never a deterrent.)
6th grade — Me and my best friend dressing up in her mom’s long dresses and going out in the backyard to play with large sticks swords, pretending to be warrior princesses. We practiced our fight routine until it was perfect. 7th grade — On hot summer nights, opening my bedroom window and sleeping half way out the window on my porch roof. (We didn’t have air conditioning).
8th grade — Calling in song requests to the radio station. (Do people still do this or just request online?) Then, making up dance routines to Whitney Houston’s Queen of the Night.
9th grade — Riding through the back streets and short cuts on my ridiculously huge bike with banana seat and basket to school every day.
10th grade — Strapping on rollerblades and skating in the street at 2am with my cousin. Going to the movies unsupervised and staying out past 10pm.
11th grade — Sneaking into the playground at the elementary school after dark to play on the equipment as a teen. Going to punk rock concerts unsupervised.
12th grade — Hanging out with my friends in town late at night. Going to a popular hangout, playing putt putt, and getting home after my parents were in bed.
A lot of my childhood memories revolve around the outdoors, which is sad because my children will not have the freedom (thanks to psycho killers, rapists, child snatchers, and the media) that I had. We have a nice fenced-in backyard for them to play in. They will have helmets, pads, and more when the try to ride anything with wheels. I am sure that the age limit will be 12 years old by the time they will legally be allowed out of their car seat. And even though the school is less than a mile from our house, I am taking the advice of the CSI detective that recently lectured at the library and driving them back and forth to school every day.
What are your favorite playtime memories?