Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Flying High

Have you noticed how playground equipment has changed since we were kids?  We didn't have a swing at our home while growing up, but grampa made us kids a swing out of a wooden plank and rope in the grove beside their house.  It was the coolest thing ever and was a wonderful place to simply go with my favorite boy cousin or all by myself.  I never did like swinging high up in the air like some kids did.  In face, I didn't like anyone pushing me.  Guess I was too chicken and was afraid of flying off and killing myself. 

Nowdays, there are playground sets with colorful slides, swings, ladders, tunnels, bars, and heaven knows what all for the kids to crawl around on and swing from.  The children of today are given equipment to help them with their coordination and balance and all kinds of other skills that weren't even thought about 50+ years ago.  Ours were made simply for fun.  We treasured what we had simply because we had so little.

Remember the merry-go-rounds?  The ones we'd stand on and pump and one side would fly higher than the other?  It had a pole in the middle and simple boards for seats.  For the smaller tots, there was the simple kind that our parents would push to make go around alot slower and safer.  And, then there was the see-saw. 

Water parks are a big thing these days, and I know for sure that I'd never make it going through some of those really long and high ones.  Again, I think there's a chicken inside me somewhere.  I never was too daring in that regard, but rather steered clear of anything that might hurt me.  I know I did get pretty reckless with my bicycle, tho.  Our farm was pretty hilly and so was our driveway, and I can remember taking my bike and going so fast I didn't use the pedals.  My legs would be way out to the side as I went flying down the bumpy gravel.  For me, that was as daring as it got. 

If I had a house with a covered front porch, for sure there'd be a porch swing there.  A porch swing is relaxing and, I don't know, has that southern hospitality feel.  Last year when we spent our vacation in a camping cabin, every morning I'd sit and have my coffee on one.  Our Bichon didn't seem to mind it either.

Growing up when I did, there were no helmets or knee pads for us to fasten onto ourselves.  We took the bumps and bruises and each time we got skinned up, we learned a little bit more on what not to do.  So much of my childhood I spent by myself, sitting on a hillside covered with wildflowers.  I'd sit up there and dream about stuff that little girls dream about, but that's what childhood is all about.  Maybe that's how I learned to think for myself and plan ahead.  From watching and listening to my parents and grandparents, I was made aware of the pitfalls that could possibly be ahead of me and so I carefully thought about that as I grew up.  And, the funny part is that I'm still trying to set the stage for my future years.  Planning for what may lie ahead.  We can't know for sure what that's going to be, but we surely can ready ourselves as best we can.  If someone would ask me what was the best advice my parents ever gave me, I'd have to say it was the way they lived themselves.  Mere example.  Maybe I was easily impressed, but I was impressed just the same.