When I was growing up, I lived on a street that had at least thirty kids. We would run in wild packs through the neighborhood. There was usually not a parent in sight. Occasionally someone would get hurt – like the time Darren lit a fire in a Tupperware bowl and threw it at Charlie (a quarter-sized piece of skin got melted off Charlie’s arm) – but for the most part we were totally fine. We played awesome games like Wagon Train, which involved tying all of our Radio Flyer wagons together, end-to-end, then stocking each wagon with supplies (blankets, food, toys), settling ourselves in the wagons, having the gang of little brothers pull the “train” up to the top of the hill, then speeding down the middle of the street. We would also build things. Once, the Abrams kids got the bright idea to dig an underground clubhouse, which ended up being a warren of tunnels. We worked on that thing for weeks, until it rained and the tunnels got filled with mud.
My kids don’t have that same kind of freedom. Apparently, neither do most kids these days.
Have you heard about this upcoming documentary called The Land? It’s filmed at a Welsh Adventure playground, and it’s all about the nature of play, and risk, and and how we’re losing that.
Watching this trailer almost made me cry. It reminded me of being a kid again, in the most glorious, free way.
I realized that’s one of the reasons I travel – to recapture that feeling. Watch the trailer – maybe you’ll see what I mean.