I don’t understand a lot of things that people do now when raising their kids. I also don’t understand why parents get so freaked out when kids do things they know they did. How does one become a strong adult if you don’t risk anything.
We played on slides and monkey bars, We played on rings and merrygorounds and swings and never thought a thing about it. There was no padding most of the time underneath the equipment except maybe some sand or grass if you were lucky and the school or park could afford it. Most of the time unless it was really bad we didn’t even tell our parents we had gotten hurt. You didn’t unless you broke something and sometimes not even then. I never did tell my parents I’d broken my ribs when I did it in high school. It was my own stupid fault and the guy who tried to “judo flip’ me.
We went hiking all over our mountains and up culverts which we knew if we asked someone who say no, so we didn’t ask.
The only time we went to the school nurse was if there was blood. I remember running and holding hands with my best friend and we had matching outfits on that day. Kelly green shirts with matching dirndls, don’t ask, dirndls were very in in the 60’s. We tripped in a crack in the playground asphalt and faceplanted and skidded. We were a bloody mess. I had huge scabs across both my knees and elbows and so did KK. They made us go to the nurse because we were bleeding everywhere. Luckily neither of us broke our glasses. We had to get the dreaded mecurochrome, the evil predecessor to bactine and betadine and that shit hurt. We went back to class looking like really embattled warriors and we were so proud of it and we were the toast of the class and much admired for the expanse of scabbage.
Nowadays someone who have been arrested for child abuse. I don’t think we even cried except maybe while be cleaned up, like I said mecurochome hurt, a lot.
Mecurochrome may have been one of the reasons we never told any adult if we were hurt. You never knew when the dreaded stuff would appear or merthiolate which was almost as bad. Iodine or Mercury?
We swung on rope and tire swings to drop into a creek at a friend’s house up north and got chased by a cow that happened to have its horns but it was definitely a girl not a bull. We took flexiflyers down hill in traffic just to see how fast we could go, the more girls we could get on the faster it went.
We did so many things that kids wouldn’t be allowed to do and we came out of it with scrapes and bruises and the occasional broken bone or lost tooth. Two friends had false teeth for their front teeth. One had gone face first racing her bike into a construction project in the street and the other went face first into the pool slide. Both of them loved to scare people into thinking they had lost their teeth.
I learned that the lights that people put at the base of trees to highlight may look cool and pretty in their greens and blues but if you fall on one during an all neighborhood game of hide and seek, your hand’s skin will melt. I also learned being hauled across the lawn by the mom across the street and thrown into the freezer is kind of close to flying when that mom is terrified.
We learned to be creative and we learned to be resourceful. We learned to be brave and courageous. We learned to rely on ourselves and our friends. And we learned when sometimes a grownup was a good thing to have around. BUT WE HAD ADVENTURES!
Lady, I see the beauties of this spring day
And ask that these blessings surround me this dat
The shining glow of our white roses
The dawn song of the phoebe
the whirr of the mourning dove’s wings
The pink of the rose echoing the colours of dawn
The furious chatter of the bushtits in the trees
The flick of the kitty’s tail as she flees
The early green shine of the new plants in the fields
The sleepy peep of baby birds
The chilly caress of the morning breeze
May they be with me through this day
And may they be there in the twilight hours
And in the dark of night.
Kat Robb 2016