By: Dawn Thompson
When I was a kid, I remember coming home from school one day and it was “OFFICIALLY” summer. Although it had been warm out all week, that was the day our mom unpacked the shorts and layed them out for us to change into. I remember wide open windows, the smell of Future floor wax, and a vision of fixable bicycles, all ready for routine maintenance. If we could just be lucky enough to find someone BIG enough to carry them down the stairs for us, we were golden!
I remember the last few days of school, some of us would get to take home extra school work and coloring papers to do over the summer. The girl across the street had a Barbie Camper and we would all head over to her porch with our tattered dolls and play for hours with nothing but half melted freeze pops to cool us off. Summer was full of Hula hooping, jump rope contests and the Ice Cream Man. Sometimes we only had a penny for chinese fortune gum, but it was still such a treat.
Cartoons were not on after 12:00 on Saturdays and everyone played OUTDOORS whenever we could. In our neighborhood, the kids would get in pajamas early, but we’d get to sit out on the front steps till dark if we behaved. Some nights, we would get lucky if our parents got to talking and hanging out, and friends would get to sleep over at each other’s houses. But, you always had to be on your best behavior to get anything…..even food, sometimes
It makes me sad these days to see empty streets on hot summer days. I like air conditioning, but there was nothing like flipping your pillow to the cold side or the feeling of a fresh summer breeze.
One time I handed Dylan an action figure and he said, “What does it do?” I was shocked. I answered, “It’s a toy, you play with it!” He wasn’t really interested, and it’s no wonder. The quality of today’s video games, movies and robotic toys are so advanced and realistic, they have sucked our kids in. The worst part is that some of us parents have let them! We think we are giving our kids the best, and in reality we are doing them a great disservice. This summer, my family will be unplugged all but for an hour a day.
I know our kids think they have it made with all their gizmo’s, gadgets and games, but by the end of this summer, mine will know what it feels like to be a real, live “Lucky Duck.” Best wishes for a HEALTHY and HAPPY summer!