My Childhood Could Beat Up Your Childhood
For week 2 of Kludgy Mom’s Back to School, Back to Blogging challenge, we were tasked with taking an idea from the blog Idea Bank and using that as inspiration for our posts this week. I decided to use my own idea: BRING IT BACK! Cool stuff from your childhood that you wish were still around for your kids to enjoy.
The sun would shine brightly on these, the tallest structures on most playgrounds, promising kids of all ages a thrilling ride. What we got instead were 1st or 2nd degree burns. But whatever, we learned to adapt. Whether it was sliding while only allowing our clothed butts and shoes to touch the surface or running down the slides altogether, metal slides were tons of fun. And they weren’t massive sources of static electricity either.
Dangerous? Yes. Thrilling? Absolutely. These would make any kid squeal with delight – it was the Justin Beiber of its time.
And I loved them even more because my sister was amazing at making the merry-go-round go around. She used to hang her right leg off the edge and use her thunder thighs forceful legs to propel us around – we called it the bunny leg. It was pretty much the only time I’d ask her to come play with me and my friends.
Old School Playgrounds
You won’t find the above pieces of playground equipment at playgrounds today. Instead, everything’s made of soft plastics and rubber, and even the ground is a cushiony, rubbery material. BAH HUMBUG, I say. In my day, you didn’t really play at the playground unless you got a splinter from the wood chips the ground was lined with. And yes, the equipment may have been dangerous and you could easily argue playgrounds today are more safe, but in my childhood, I had the best safety feature of all: fear.
You didn’t go running around all crazy because skinned knees are no fun – unless, you’re a boy and you practically wore them like badges of honor. You didn’t go around jumping on the equipment because we all knew it wasn’t sticks and stones that broke our bones – it was playground equipment.
I love mp3 players: to think you can hold 1000s of songs in your pocket is remarkable. But why is it that I don’t like a single song that my iPhone plays, especially when it’s on shuffle mode? Thousands of songs and I only find one I like when I finally reach my destination.
That wasn’t the case in my childhood. My mixtapes were meticulously crafted, with each song building upon the excitement of the previous song, until I reached audiogasm and then *click* I got to do it again on the other side. Not so today. Today, it’s all about the quickies – finding one song you like, then moving on to the next one, with plenty of unmemorable songs in between. But in my day, it was a purely binogomous relationship with the A and B sides.
I also lament the fact that, along with other character building things from my childhood, my daughter won’t know what it’s like to wait patiently for a song she likes to be played on the radio in order to record it. Now, she simply has to download files buy music with a few clicks. And heck, if you wanted to skip a song on your mixtape, you still had to wait a minute to skip a song, then fiddle with the ffwd and rew buttons till you got the tape at just the right point. It’s all about instant gratification nowadays I tell ya.
D1 is still far from elementary school, so what I know of elementary school gym classes is largely anecdotal, but it’s safe to say, they aren’t the same anymore, if they have them at all. Being the unathletic, chubby kid, I usually hated gym class. I especially hated the days when I’d walk into the multipurpose room and see several ropes hanging from the ceiling: the dreaded rope climbing day. I use the term climb loosely because for me, climbing consisted of grabbing the rope with two hands and struggling mightily while moving nowhere until the teacher mercifully told me to come down.
I don’t necessarily miss gym class, but it is where I learned that I was destined to do things that didn’t require any physical prowess, so for that I am grateful. I also learned the important lessons of humiliation, failure, and defeat.
Speaking of gym class, do they even have recess anymore? If nothing else, kids these days need to get outside and burn off all their excess calories.
Not only are these things that I miss from my childhood, they’re also why I’ll always tell my daughters that my childhood can beat up your childhood.
Then again, Boomers would say the same thing about me, what with their bb guns and eating lead paint chips.
What about you? What do you wish they’d bring back from your childhood? Would your childhood beat up my childhood?
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