Kids These Days

With this eternal winter looming over us, I can’t help but think about summer.  When I think about summer, it brings up some wonderful memories of summers long ago.  It’s those summers of the past that cause me to feel bad for kids today.  Sure they are equipped with some of the coolest technology that enables them to have a lot of fun.  But I know for a fact that their fun can’t even compare to the fun I had every summer when I was young.  Our technology consisted of two games systems (you were either a Sega kid or Nintendo), AOL IMing was the coolest way you could chat, and our phones only made calls. So we had to rely on our friends (be it the many cousins I had as neighbors or all the other children on the block) and the outdoors for entertainment.

– We only needed one tool…our imagination.  With our imaginations we could do or be anything.  We were Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the coolest babysitters, and gourmet  chefs.

– Our games weren’t ones you played while sitting down.  We played everything from Ghosts in the Graveyard to Capture the Flag to our made up game, Cat and Mouse.

– We didn’t listen to our music through headphones.  We pulled out that boom box CD player and rocked out on the sidewalk for all to see, blasting some of the best 90’s music.

-Our hangout spot was local.  Either my dad built backyard sandbox or the 3 foot collapsible pool or one of our neighbors front porches.

– Age wasn’t an issue.  You could have been as young as 5 or as old as 13.  Didn’t matter as long as you knew how to have a good time.

-Modes of transportation changed as you got older.  You started out riding your bike, then you progressed to ‘blading’, and you knew you were a cool preteen when you simply walked endlessly around the neighborhood with no particular destination.

-Staying out until it was 10:00 was awesome.  You knew you messed up when mom told you that there was no going back outside after dinner, but all it took was several knocks at the front door to quickly change her mind.

With days like today, those fun-filled days feel like eons ago, but they were some of the best memories of my life.  So, no matter how many game systems are available or what kinds of crazy things phones can do, I still feel bad for kids these days because they have no idea what they are missing out on!



6 thoughts on “Kids These Days

  1. The memories! In summer, my mom used to wake us up by a certain time. All the kids had to go outside with her so she could tan (and good lord, she laid out for a long time). We were always doing something. I always see so many kids just sitting during recess- we need more imagination!

  2. All we needed was an empty milk jug and a handful of rocks and presto a neighborhood full of kids arrived and a rambunctious game of “kick the can” was on! I agree poor kids of the 21st century they will never know…unless they hear the awesome stories from us parents:)

  3. Brings back memories of my summers as a kid.
    We would make hay forts in the barn, ride our bikes to the party store which was 2 miles away and staying up late to catch fire flies. I am obviously older than you because our boom box consisted of the good old cassette tapes with the music that we recorded our favorite songs from the local radio station. For fun we would pick up the phone and try to listen to our neighbor on the party line without being caught.
    The only video games were the Pac Man and Astroids at the local pizza joint.
    Ah… the simple life that we wished our kids could appreciate.
    Thanks for the memories

  4. After school today, I was just talking to a few students about how kids today have no idea what it means to have fun and play. I just don’t think they ever will get it. But I hope that my kids have those neighborhood friends that share in all those experiences! Thank you for reminding me of the great times I used to have with my school age best friends! Our summers sounded pretty similar.

  5. Such great memories you write about here – I loved summer evenings as a kid. All the kids on the block came out after dinner to play. We would play Kick the Can or catch lightening bugs. So fun. Great slice – brought back a lot of memories for me.

  6. I’m hoping more kids will get outside and have fun doing “nothing” – maybe parents need a WiFi switch? Sigh. I know my soccer players always find a place to play.

    Thanks for sharing your memories! Maybe the next generation will spend more time disconnected and hanging with friends IRL?

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