Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I miss being a kid

Let me start off by saying I hate blogger!

I know I have said it before.
And I know I have threatened to leave Blogger for WordPress.
But I mean it this time!
All of my reviews that I have posted under my Book Chat tab are gone except for a random few.
I was going to repost them all but I just don't have the patience.


When I say I miss being a kid it doesn't mean I would want to be a kid today.
Because I wouldn't.
There was a feeling of innocence when I was a kid that kids today just don't get to experience.
As a parent I know I have allowed this.
I let my son play violent video games.
I let my daughter watch PG13 movies before she was 13.
But I think technology is to blame.
I love technology.
It is my life.
Without it I would be out of a job.
But kids don't play anymore.
They don't use their imaginations.
Christopher's idea of playing is going onto Xbox Live and joining a group with his cousins and playing MineCraft. Which happens to be the most ridiculous game I have ever seen.
It makes me dizzy watching it.

I should probably say instead that I miss my childhood.
Growing up we played outside.
The usual games like.....
freeze tag
hide and seek
(kind of like tag but you can "spring" the other players who were caught)
wall ball
street hockey

My house was on a street that had large factories on the end of the block. 
A parking lot
or the "mill lot" as we called it.
Separated the houses from the mill buildings.
It ran between my street Freeland and the street parallel Peachin.  
We were not "allowed" in the mill lot.
And during the day we usually abided by that rule and we played in the street or at the local play ground which was a block from my house.
At night though.
When the mill was closed we made that our spot.
The mill owners locked the gates but that didn't keep us out.
I should say that my street was on a fairly steep hill. The houses at the top and the mill at the bottom.
The lot in the middle was leveled off obviously for parking reasons and this gave it an almost enclosed feeling. High walls with even higher black wrought iron fencing gave it a prison like effect.
The gates were also made of heavy iron as a kid they appeared to be 15 feet high but in reality they were probably more like six feet.
Someone from the older group of neighborhood kids bent the bars so we could squeeze though,
Or they cut one of the spokes at the bottom of the locked gate and we crawled underneath. 
Usually feet first dragging her self across the still hot blacktop.
But you were a kid so who cared if you got burnt and dirty.
Squeezing through the bent bars was always easy for a string bean kid like me but some of my more pudgier friends had to be pushed from the back and pulled from the front.
The allure of the mill lot was that we were not supposed to be in there.
My house was just two doors up so my mother hanging clothes on our line out back would clearly see us so hiding behind the wall was important.
I will say that eventually the mill owners stopped being such hard asses about it and we played freely but there were times when we ran from the cops who came down the street and blasted us with their spot lights. We scattered like cockroaches running out the opposite end .
Some of the things we did in the mill lot were the usual tag, football, wiffle ball, hockey, Someone even set up a basketball hoop.
Your average childhood games
Sometimes we dared each other to "go down the little pit" 
which was a concreted walk way about a three foot drop from the mill parking lot. 
It separated the parking area from the building.
The little pit had steps which made it less scary.
It was dark down there though.
The "big pit"
was a 10 foot drop (this is not accurate but rather guesses) and was filled with kid high weeds and broken bottles and I am pretty sure rats and any other city related rodent/bug you can imagine.
Walking or being dared to run along the wall of the big pit was a big deal.

It was in the mill lot that we played a game called "I believe in ghosts"
I have no idea if this is a real game or if someone made it up.
But it consisted of us all holding hands.
Closing our eyes and walking though the dark deserted lot chanting
.....I believe in ghosts......I believe in ghosts.......I believe in ghosts
At which point someone would inevitably get freaked out.
Swear they saw a shadow looking out of the blackened mill window and we would all go screaming towards the fence and push each other through the makeshift exit.

Scaring each other either by daring to go down the pit or telling a story about seeing a ghost in the abandoned house....known in the neighborhood as 4112 
pronounced forty one twelve.
Or the ghost of mean Mrs. Wendel who hated pretty much every kid in the neighborhood. 
Actually we were pretty sure she hated kids in general
I think my friend Mary was the only one that woman liked.

I loved it.
The scaring people with a story or being scared to walk past a house for fear of seeing a ghost.
I loved it all.

And now at the age of 40 I like nothing better.
My tastes always go to the macabre 
Shows like
The Walking Dead
American Horror
are guaranteed a spot on my precious DVR
Movies like
Silent House
are guaranteed a ticket sale from me
Books by Stephen King, John Saul and Dean Koontz fill my shelves.

My imagination is so vivid because I exercised it so much as a kid.
Sometimes on dark rainy nights when I am the last one to go to bed I remember those tales of my childhood.
And I can not run up those steps fast enough.

I even removed the old wooden rocker that used to sit in the Mom Cave because I was fairly certain I saw Mrs. Wendel sitting in there one night.
And she did not look happy to see me.

How about you. Do you have some childhood memories that live on in your imagination?

I am reading: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


Unknown said...

So so true, me, too! It is that feeling of innocence and freedom and happiness, and no, I don't think our kids get it.

Andrew Leon said...

Well, I have to run out the door, so I can't respond adequately. I will say, though, that minecraft is not the worst game he could be playing. At least there are a lot of building options, which is what my son concentrates on, and that's very creative. Not in the same way that playing outside is, but it's better than nothing.

Muriel said...

Do I miss being a kid? No, not really. I miss being able to eat whatever I wanted without putting on any weight, that's for sure...
But I think that I prefer my life now...Don't you?

Anonymous said...

Straight to the point and well written! Why can't everyone else be like this?

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