I found a recent Facebook post showing the creativity of some CBC grandparents in entertaining their little ones to be quite amusing. They transformed their living room into a drive-in movie theater, using cardboard boxes for cars. This reminded me of the simpler times and imaginative play of the kid “Growing Up On Dump Ground Road.” Like many of you, we didn’t have a lot of toys. However, we did have vivid imaginations and the ability to turn whatever was at our disposal into a plaything.
We spent hours riding broomsticks for horses; rolling old tires around the yard; climbing and swinging from trees; having chinaberry fights; making slingshots from forked branches and tire inner-tubes; building, flying, and rebuilding kites; fishing off the porch with a stick and a string; making clubhouses out of chairs and blankets; knocking wasps nests from the eaves of the house; and flying mud daubers with thread, just to name a few. Whatever we lacked in “store bought toys,” we made up for by inventing and pretending.
Much of my youth was also spent riding my bike and playing baseball with friends and family members. We had the occasional outing to the neighborhood pool or to a downtown movie. However, we were often left to entertain ourselves, lest my mother found some chores to occupy our time. When I tired of “driving” the old cars behind our house, I would go exploring in the field across the road. We were forbidden to enter the woods at the back of the clearing, so naturally I ventured in there from time to time. I learned that there was a trail cutting through the woods leading to my Aunt May and Uncle Fadie’s house. They were the owners of my field and wooded playground. This was the scene of a thousand adventures.
As parents and grandparents, we often buy into the advertising ruse that children “need” the latest and greatest toy to be happy and fulfilled. The truth is that lasting memories are made from experiences shared more so than gifts given. Yesterday’s special trinket becomes tomorrow’s attic storage. Yet, the memories of childhood adventures will remain until they have children and grandchildren of their own. “Thank You” to Glenn and Stephanie Burk for helping me to revisit my own childhood by sharing this special moment with your precious family!
Serving in love,