We live across the street from a schoolyard and their field where soccer, football and baseball is played directly in front of our living room windows. Several times a week we watch tons of kids and their parents get onto the two fields ready for games. The kids are all in their colorful uniforms and the parents are lugging blankets and lawn chairs to sit on while they watch their kids. Beloved hubby and I have chuckled between us saying how glad we were none of our kids were into soccer as we watched the parents determinedly sitting out there in rain, cold, hot sun and the crazy chinook winds we get here.
One day as I was looking out my window trying to see past the dozens of cars lined up and down the street, I got to thinking how when I was a kid organized sports was a rarity and usually for well off kids. In my neighborhood kids got together outside. Kids drew kids. And before you knew it games were just thrown together off the cuff. Whether you had the correct number of players or not. No parents cheering (or yelling, depending on your experience), no coaches coaching (or yelling depending on your experience), no refs. Sometimes just a bare skeleton of rules. Any kid coming along that wanted to play was worked in no matter where we were in the game. Age didn't matter nor skill. Being on the winning side was not important as we usually forgot to keep score once the game wore on. It was spontaneous and it was fun.
I miss those days. Sometimes I think we've so organized our lives and our kids lives that I wonder if they are missing out on some of the things I so enjoyed as a kid. We didn't play because it was 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and you had to show up. We played 'cause we thought of it at the moment. And it wasn't limited to one sport. And if you wanted to quit halfway thru and switch to something else, hey all the more fun. I wonder if because they're lives are so organized how many kids know all the kids in their neighborhood within a 3 block radius and are friends with them 'cause they actually play with them on a regular basis. I suppose in smaller communities it happens more than in midsize to large cities.
I was trying to explain this to my kids, two are teens, 1 a tweenie. Dearest Daughter interupts to ask: "How old are you?" And Strapping Son comments: "Isn't that talking to strangers?"
Sigh. Spontaneity. I think I'll go plan to do something spontaneous this weekend.