Thursday, May 12, 2011

Radio Flyer FlashBacks

Oh the Decisions!
After a day of shopping for a Birthday present for my grandson, I still sit here empty handed. Luckily I have a few more days to get my shopping done.
I can't find the gift I want- Mostly because I am struggling about what Kind of gift he should have. Last Year we got him a Radio Flyer Tricycle. Which he just recently learned to pedal on his own. We enjoyed almost a full year of Grandma or his Daddy pushing or pulling him around the sidewalks of the house while he squealed and laughed in delight. Of course once or twice we "crashed" and sustained scrapes and bruises. Huh-- Maybe a Helmet?
When I learned to rollerskate, I had metal skates that fit on over my shoes. I had no knee pads, no elbow pads, and certainly no helmet. Same goes for when I learned to ride a bike. Boys and girls from up and down our road played touch football together in the pasture at dusk, usually with bare feet. Biggest Danger? Cow Pies!
We all explored the woods around us, plus all the little creeks and streams & The mighty Methow River that rattlesnakes snakes called home.
We caught garden snakes  and grasshoppers--the 'hoppers we used when we went fishin' in those creeks and streams and River.
We walked barefoot on gravel driveways, we got fish hooks caught in our fingers and feet. We got ticks in our heads that our parents pulled out with little fanfare. Since we were mostly barefoot, we got stickers in our feet and when going to your friends down the road you walked on the hot asphalt road.
When we  played baseball, we had sliding practices. We learned to slide on the side; we learned to slide head-first. Once again-- Biggest danger Cow Pies.
We climbed trees and skinned our knees, we built  'houses' in those trees. We played with hammers and nails, screwdrivers, and wrenches.  We took flying leaps from the loft of the barn into the piles of loose hay below..( and mom if you are reading this, I didn't jump, My brothers pushed me)
We camped out in the  yard.  We rode our horses and played Cowboys and Indians. We were stepped on, scraped off and bucked off more horses then I can remember.
Until I became a mother myself, I never understood or appreciated how my Mom must have felt.  Kids get hurt. Accidents happen. Sad but true.
Of course we want to spare our children the pain...but how will they learn to live through it, deal with it, if we never let them experience? We always had scrapes and bruises and contusions growing up, every finger and thumb jammed, broken bones, sprained ankles, cuts, scrapes  and heaven knows what else--because we were experiencing life. I was out playing and playing with friends and exploring and biking and running and climbing and skating and collecting and having fun. As much as I LOVE to read, I just didn't spend much time indoors, especially during the summer. Mom would shoo us outside with a popsicle or a cold drink and tell us to " Go Outside- blow the stink off--Go play. Stay out of trouble."
That's why I wonder how those children (my generation) became the parents who bought their children every electronic device known to man and let them sit around in a vegetative state in front of the TV. With video games, computers, whatever. How did we get to this?
I didn't want my kids to suffer any of the painful things. But I didn't  interfere too much, either. They also had the electronic Gadgets.  Times have changed, I am not sure I like it. Granted-- The electronic gadgets of today make life simpler. After all-- I can't imagine life without my computer or microwave--But then on the other hand-- I only use the microwave for making popcorn--go figure!
So-- Back to the Grandsons Birthday Present--I've made my decision-- That boy is going to get a Radio Flyer wagon to go with his Radio Flyer tricycle of last year...And a Helmet-- That Boy is not getting hurt on Grandma's watch!


Beadwright said...

yeaaaa Lori!!! I think the kids of today are missing out on so much. There were 6 of us, I am the oldest, we all left the house after a family breakfast and didn't come home until lunch then gone until dinner. We had so much fun with so little.
Miss those days too.

Amy said...

Lori- I loved this post. I think the Radio Flyer wagon is a terrific idea. Your essay rings so true to how I grew up too....however I was giggling to myself when I read the part about pulling a tick off with little fanfare because last year my son had a tick on his...ahem...well, let's just say it was private...and I freaked out and rushed him to the urgent care clinic...where they, pulled it off with: very little fanfare! LOL

VernaMarye said...

Yeah, Lori! I immediately thought about getting the Radio Flyer wagon when you mentioned the tricycle. I have a 4 year-old tomboy/princess grandaughter, and I got her another brand of wagon two years ago for Christmas. She & her Daddy have a lot of fun with it.

Speaking of your childhood, mine was quite similar, except I started out living in the country, but we had to move to the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio when I started school. That didn't stop me from going barefoot and playing outside all day though. I have a scar just above my left breast from the handlebar of my bicycle, (it didn't have any rubber grips on it) and I got my knees in the same crash. Ah-h-h-h-h, what memories! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!