December 20, 2010

Boy Fountains & Machine Guns

JD and two friends, along with a seven year old girl and myself, headed off to the local pool recently. We lathered on about half a litre of sunscreen lotion between the five of us and jumped into the very warm pool. Actually it was more like a sauna that a swimming pool as the weather had been exceedingly hot.

The boys at one point began to spit water at one another, and when I say spit, I mean the spitting of water, and not of saliva. I encouraged the boys in their competition to see what kind of "weapon" they could imitate with their spitting. They came up with shotguns, machine-guns, cannons, and more. Of course, they had to spit into each other's faces, and they had a great time doing it.

We then went on to imitate various forms of fountains, to which I allocated points out of ten. Actually all of the kids were quite imaginative and we had underwater fountains, through to famous Italian water-fountains and everything in-between. Luckily none of the boys thought of imitating those water-fountains that have little angels piddling in them!

At that point, one of JD's friends said to me, "Did you see the look on those other ladies?"

"No," I replied, not even bothering to look.

"They were disgusted that we were spitting," he said with a smile.

"Oh well," I replied with a shrug. "We weren't hurting anyone, and we had a bit of fun."

I didn't look at the horrified looks from those local parents. Personally, I still remember how much fun it is to play these sorts of games when you're a kid. 

Sure if the game was truly disgusting or revolting such as the spitting of unsavoury stuff from their nose, I would have put a stop to it. 

Why is it that some parents feel they have to make a judgement about the actions of the children around them? Have they really forgotten what it's like to be a child?

Every single child that got into the swimming pool that day would have spat water out of their mouths at some point. So what's the difference between spitting the same water at your friends or just spitting it back into the pool?

I hope I never forget the simple joys of childhood. I've been promising JD that we are going to sail boats in one of the nearby gutters one of these rainy afternoons. In fact, there's a creek where the run-off goes that would be even better.

Last month when I attended my brother's 50th birthday, I caught up with two of my brother's kids who are now grown with a child of their own. We were talking at the end of the party, and both of them remembered having fun when they spent time with me when they were younger. It's interesting that the one thing they both enjoyed was a game I had quite forgotten. I think I called it something like the "Getting Unlost Game."

After the kids closed their eyes, I would drive to an unknown destination, and they would open their eyes and try to find their way home without a map, and without my help. Before a corner, they had to decide whether to turn left or right or go straight ahead.

What I think is fabulous is that my niece now plays the same game with her daughter. 

Who would have thought that such a simple game would have pleased them so easily, and even be passed onto the next generation.

Who knows today what interactions we have with children that they will remember with fondness in years to come. 

Who knows what makes good memories?

No comments:

Post a Comment