Monday, May 5, 2014
Time is a Funny Thing
The land around my family's farm in southeast Nebraska had rolling hills and trees similar to this. My parents had a herd of Holsteins and I had to help with the milking every day. There were always plenty of chores to do during the day too, such as working in the garden, feeding calves, etc. But I also had days where I was free to do my own thing during the long summer days. By the time I was 10 or 11, one of my favorite things to do was pack a lunch and saddle up my horse, Suzy, and go out exploring the surrounding pastures.I had a favorite spot way back in the pasture where a large patch of wild strawberries grew. I would stop there, spread out a blanket and savor my peanut butter sandwich, with juicy berries for dessert. Then I might lie down on the blanket and study the clouds and daydream, or get lost in a book for awhile before it was time to head back home.
My, how the world has changed since then! I asked my mom recently if she ever worried about me back then, and she said not really. Too bad that kids today don't have the luxury of enjoying such freedom to explore and just be kids. For one thing, there doesn't seem to be any safe places where a child can be alone any more, and with "stranger danger" everywhere, its not safe for a child to be alone anywhere. For another, kids today seem to have every minute of their free time scheduled. I know my granddaughter has a schedule that would drive me crazy. In addition to keeping up with all her classes and getting good grades, she has dance class six days a week, as well as cheerleading practice, school and church activities, dance competitions, cheer competitions, the list goes on and on. She barely has time to eat or sleep in between everything she has going on. Just as bad, her brother spends all of his free time glued to a computer playing video games. At the risk of sounding like an "old fogey," what has the world come to?
I'm not saying my childhood was idyllic, by any means. Sometimes my solitary wanderings were merely a way to escape my father, who could be very mean and abusive. But how I'd love to be able to go horseback riding now sometime and sit in a pasture eating wild strawberries just to get away from my adult worries and responsibilities for a change.
How about you? What favorite childhood activity do you wish you could do again?