"I'm bored", "There isn't anything to do". Sound familiar?
When my children tell me they are bored, I look at them puzzled and say, "How?"
When I was a kid the only time I was ever bored was when I got into the back seat of the family car on a Sunday afternoon and took a "Sunday drive" with my parents . I much rather had been at home playing with my friends in the vacant wooded lot next door to my house on Sherry Lane that we called, "the woods".
The woods was a magical place; it was where great things happened. We built tree forts in large, majestic oak trees. They had kitchens, living rooms and escalators (which was actually pieces of 2 x 4 wood nailed to the tree).
My best friends were Tammie, Cathy and Sissy. Tammie, Sissy and I were tomboys. Cathy instilled some girlish traits into us by making us play with Barbie dolls. Cathy's mom made alot of her Barbie doll clothes and the clothes hung on these special miniature pink clothes hangars.
But when I got tired of playing Barbies, I hopped onto my blue bicycle with the banana seat and rode to the woods for a fun game of "Crash-Bang-Smash-em-up".
This game started with two people on their bicylces, each at the top of a hill opposite from each other and on the count of "1-2-3-Go" would ride their bikes as hard and as fast as they could toward a head-on collision course with the other. This would result in a crash and bang and if we were lucky a smash to your opponents bike and a few bruises to our shin bones. Luckily we never broke a limb (or at least from playing that game).
All of the kids in our neighborhood had rectangular trampolines. They weren't just for jumping and turning flips. They made great wrestling mats. We imitated wrestling legends like Mr. Wrestling No. 1 and Dusty Rhodes and had tag team matches against the Assassins and Abdullah the Butcher. Fortunately none of us could get the "sleeper hold" maneuver correct.
Childhood is where experience is made. Watching "Scooby Doo" cartoons on Saturday mornings is how I learned to be a Private Investigator when I grew up. And decorating and re-decorating my playhouse that my dad built me is what fueled my passion for becoming an Interior Decorator. But I'm sure I worried my parents with my great aspirations of wanting to become a wrestler or a race car driver.
Once I found two frogs attached to each other. Excitedly, I brought them into my mom exclaiming that it was a "grandpa riding his grandson on his back" and that we needed to call The Daily Sun and have them come out and take a picture of it for the newspaper. She just smiled and assured me that the two frogs probably didn't want to be bothered.
Playing games of Leap Frog, Tag and Hide-n-Seek on sunny days and chasing and catching lightning bugs on warm summer evenings; riding bikes through water puddles on rainy days and catching raindrops in my mouth; running in between freshly laundered sheets hanging on the clothes line and making mud pies in aluminum tins are just a few of the many memories from my childhood that I want to make with my children today.
Donna Hunter Glenn is a weekly columnist for the Houston Home Journal and Warner Robins Times Newspapers and is the principal decorator and owner of Addressing Rooms Interior Decorating and Home Staging in Warner Robins, GA.