My kids have always loved me to tell stories of my growing up in the North Carolina mountains. Having grown up in the city, its hard for them to imagine how I entertained myself without video games, ipods, computers, or DVD players.
But I did. What fun I had! I remember my summer vacations when school was out. I couldn't wait for each day to begin. I would get up early and hop on my bike and ride all around the neighborhood in the quiet of the morning. I felt as if I was the only person around. I remember it was such a feeling of freedom.
Later on when my sister would wake up, we would go outside. And our mom pretty much expected she wouldn't see us until dinnertime. We would pack a lunch and head out for whatever adventure we could find. Sometimes we would go into the woods behind our house. Sometimes we would go up on this hill not far away. And we would pretend. We let our imaginations go wild. We would make up mysteries to solve, or collect stuff from nature. We would sit and eat our lunches and love every minute of it. We never seemed to get bored.
Afternoons were spent with the other children in the neighborhood. We would get a friendly game of kickball or basketball going. Sometimes we would play spy, and take my dad's old army spyglass and peep in the neighbor's windows.
After dinner, as it was growing dark, Mom would finish the dinner dishes and her and dad would head outside with some iced tea. They would sit on the porch in the cool of the evening as all of us played hide and seek or caught fireflies.
Kids today miss out on so much. All of their fun is based on a screen, whether it be a TV or a computer screen. Their imaginations have no chance to grow because its all taken care of for them in fantasy lands with creatures and superheros. My kids ask how I ever got along without video games.
I have to ask how they get along with them.