Playing outside isn’t popular for kids anymore

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A few weeks ago I was driving down a paved, country road and saw an old scene from the past. I smiled and said to myself, “I haven’t seen that in a long time.”

What do you think it was?

I have seen a flock of guineas on that road, but that wasn’t it. It was two young boys, looked to be about four and six years of ages, and they were playing on the side of the front yard in the sand of the truck tracks that led to the back of the house. They seemed to be having the time of their lives as they played in the dirt.

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You don’t see little boys or girls playing outside anymore.

I understand. It’s hot and there are always those “dad-blasted” gnats. Most children don’t want to go outside and play anymore.

That’s why, when I saw these two young boys, I smiled and also said, “That could have been my brother and me 50 or 60 years ago.

We lived in a big, wooden farmhouse and there were some pretty old water oaks in the front yard.

There was also plenty of dirt in which to play. I don’t remember too much about eating breakfast, but I’m sure I did. It was hurrying to get outside that I remember best.

Here’s a good question. Was it as hot way-back then? Were the gnats as bad?

Once again, I don’t remember that being the case, but we played all sorts of games outside!

I don’t know what I would do if I was a child today.

I probably would be just like everyone else and my parents would be like every other set of parents.

They would be concerned about the heat, the gnats, and about the security of playing outside, unattended.

At pre-school age, I might have stayed close to the house.

Momma did not work in town during those years, except maybe at Christmas when the stores would have taken on extra help.

If she did, Daddy was close by farming and could check on my brother and me. Besides, we lived out in the country where no one bothered the other.

That is one change from the old days. Security is a problem these days. It is a shame that the predators that seek to harm young children are so prevalent. If there is a good reason for jails, and there is, it would be for others who seek to harm our children.

I say lock them up and throw away the keys!

Another change is that there is more to do inside the house these days. In the old days, there was television, but not like today’s television.

Back then, the machine was black and white and the programming was limited to two or three channels. Cartoons were for mostly Saturday morning, but back then, Saturday was a day to get outside and play!

Playing outside was good for our creativity.

It is amazing all the things we learned to do with sticks and old, tin cans or how many dammed-up ponds we made in the dirt.

We, ourselves, got dirty and man was that fun. The worst thing was being called inside and having to clean up.

I know time moves forward and not backwards, so I don’t spend too much time thinking about the old days, but it’s interesting what two little boys playing outside can do to a memory.