I'm sitting here, listening to Journey, classic Steve Perry Journey, and I am feeling myself falling back in time. The kids are at school, and time is winding down rather quickly to the point where they will be done for the summer. Then comes the constant moans of, "I'm bored" and "There's nothing to do!" Hence, why there is now a 24 foot circle of chlorinated water in our backyard now. The best nanny money can buy. I used to be that kid.
My folks had a pool when I was growing up. A marvelous in-ground, with a diving board, and steps, and a deep end as well. The summers would be spent swimming, and diving, and sailing my Star Wars action figures (the ORIGINAL Kenner figures from the first movie!) around in a wooden Catamaran I had. If I wasn't in the pool, my friend David and I were either riding uptown to buy comics and cards, or playing baseball in his backyard or at the ball diamonds behind our houses, just a short walk through a field.
We never had much problem finding things to do. We didn't have iPods, iPads, laptops, PS3's or Nintendo DS's. I know, I'm probably starting to sound like Dana Carvey's Grumpy Old Man character from SNL. But it's true. We could always find something to do, and we DIDN'T need (or want!) to hang around our parents all day. We were out the door early, and back in time for lunch or dinner, and then off again. We camped out at night. We looked at our cards and comics, played music on our transistor radios, ate junk food and just enjoyed being kids.
I'm not sure that kids today, my kids especially, appreciate stuff like that. I try not to be a parental dictator, but it's not always easy. I never had to have orders barked at me more than once. They asked or told me to do something, I did it and went about my business. I wanted to do what I had to do, and then go play. Go explore. I wasn't interested in getting into any trouble (well, maybe a little, but of the non-destructive variety!), and I knew the consequences if I did.
Summer was a time to relish, and enjoy being out in the sun, and feeling the warmth that freedom from school brings. Endless days of swimming, and riding bikes (weight loss city!), and just loving life as a kid. I'm not trying to go all "Stand By Me", but there's something to be said for those days. As a parent now, I'm not sure I could just let my kids go off without being close to home (I was from a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario), but I'm not always sure they would want to either. This makes for a classic "Catch 22" but I'm hoping that they will enjoy the pool, the time off, and see beyond the boredom.
I miss those days, so I like to live vicariously through them.