Back in my day…

My kids should know better by now than to tell me they are bored during their summer break.  Not only does it instantly turn me into a drill sergeant, barking out orders to re-clean the windows and bathrooms, but it also sends me into a spiral of what my childhood days were like.  Way back when.  It goes like this:
“Back in my day, we didn’t have all these “camps.”  We had one camp.  It was called swimming lessons and we went there at 4:00AM when the pool was barely above freezing and had to wear these awful swimming caps that were made out of industrial strength rubber that squeezed your brains, gave you a rash, and made you look like an alien. 
And that’s if we were lucky to go.  Most of the time we woke up, ate a few bowls of brightly colored cereal and watched nothing on TV because we had four channels.  Most of the time there was nothing good on, unless you liked to watch the news, a game show, or reruns of shows from the 1970’s were everyone had big hair and bigger collars.  So we shoveled food in our face and did the only thing to do.  We went outside to play, without checking the radar.
And guess what?  We didn’t have fancy skateboards, scooters, or electric vehicles so we could take joy rides around the yard.  We had one mode of transportation: our bikes.  With the giant, uncomfortable banana seats, one gear and chains that fell off and we had to fix ourselves.  And we’d ride them everywhere—from one game of tag to the next.  If we wanted to know if someone wanted to play, we didn’t text or call.  We actually rang their doorbell.
We didn’t have sports clinics, either.  There was no such thing as practice or field time.  There was one field.  It was called  “the street.”  And you could play any sport you want as long as there were no cars driving past. 
Our mothers didn’t need to take us anywhere, because there was nowhere to go.  They stayed at home and talked on their corded phones and made us red fruit punch with real sugar and something out of a can for lunch.  We’d wash it all down with a drink from the hose and a few chocolate snack cakes covered in frosting, because the sugar was needed to power us through the afternoon and evening.

There was a quick break for dinner and then we’d all gather for a dangerous and scary game of hide and seek where we’d try not to leave anyone left in the shrubbery, but if someone got hurt or cried, we made sure they were OK.
They usually were OK.
And they were never, ever, bored.
Now go drink some punch and clean the bathroom.



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