Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Upon completion of my blue room, I quickly filled it with my "stuff". One of the items included is a stereo that plays cassettes and CDs because I like to listen to my music when I do laundry. Not owning an ipod means I get to blare my old CDs and cassettes loudly and sing along (and not sound as bad as if I were giving a accapella performance to earbuds).*screeching record sound* Did she say cassettes??!!
Yes, I still have them, and as I dug through the box, I found an old recording my sister and I had made when I was probably about 9-10 years old. I decided my boys would enjoy hearing their mother, aunt, and even uncle as childlike voices on a tape. I played it.

Memories came flooding back. I knew immediately where we were as my sister's voice read a story to a stuffed animal. I could hear the fan in the background because it was summer and we only had a window air conditioner in the living room. She was in our shared bedroom with a box fan propped in the window.

Playing School

We used to play school a lot, setting up our dolls and stuffed animals with crayons and paper. We had an extensive Barbie collection and would set up all of our cases as houses and let my brother pull the Barbies and Kens on 'dates' in the barbie jeep. We had tied yarn to the bumper so he could lead them down the hall and back. This would last for a good hour, then we would head outside.

My sister and the Barbie jeep

We played outdoors a lot, riding bikes and tromping through the tree row beside the lane. There was a tiny creek in there, a ditch mostly, and we would follow it back around the field behind our house. Our dogs would go with us, feeling it was their duty to protect us from the 'wild woods'. We avoided poison ivy and the deep well, collected leaves or flowers, threw bread crumbs to the fish in the pond, and swung on the swingset. Mostly, we rode our bikes.

My sister on her first bike without training wheels

No one put sunscreen on us, or told us to get out of that mud, or stay away from this or that. We took off our shoes and waded in the muddy ditch. We rescued baby bunnies and birds that the dogs had caught. We watched a blue heron and an owl take up residence in the tree row nearby and followed deer tracks in the field.

The tree row behind my sister (she was a good model)

These play times were never planned, always on a whim. I don't remember asking permission to leave the house to ride bikes, we most likely told our mother we wanted to, though the hours we disappeared off into the trees, she had to have worried. There wasn't much danger though. Since we only drove to 'town' once a week to get groceries and run errands, there weren't any plans, why not let us go play?

Boys and new furniture

Life isn't like that now. I keep my boys indoors so I don't lose them. We live in a quiet neighborhood, not a rural farm like I grew up on, so there are other people to worry about, property lines, and traffic. We try to stay busy, leaving the house more than once a week to shop, eat, work, or play. I realize that my kids will not have the same kind of childhood I did because it is not the same world anymore. The best I can do is allow them the freedom to play unhindered by a schedule of prearranged activities.

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