Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer...summer...summer tiiiiimeee...

Hi - welcome to edition #23 of Flashback Fridays! FF's are hosted by moí, and anyone and everyone is welcome to join! If you wrote any post recently that included a reflection of your past, an old photo (whether it's from 20 years ago or last week), link up, baby!

If you're new here, check this post for graphics and the rules - they're pretty basic. (Just make sure you use a permalink, huh?)

Cuz we could all use a little "laugh at ourselves" therapy.


So I had the typical poor-kid life growing up. (I'm not going to review the details every time I write about being a kid. I don't want this to turn into a big "poor me" session. But it sucked. Read this if you must have more details.)

But whereas it was obvious during the school year that I didn't have the same name-brand shoes and backpacks as other kids, during the summer it was less obvious. All kids wore those shorts with the white piping around the bottom, and boys wore the tube socks with the three color stripes at the top.

We spent our days running from one yard to another, only coming home for some Kool-Aid or a freezepop, or when the street lights came on.

In our neighborhood, we'd play baseball in the dead-end street a block away. I'll never forget the summer that Dan hit his cousin Rosie in the face with the bat and someone had to call 911. She wasn't a "regular" and was playing catcher a liiiiitle too close to the batter.

We climbed trees and played kickball, and when it was really hot, we busted out the sprinkler, or filled our crappy little pool. One year, Dad bought us a slip n slide.

Whooo doggie! THAT was the toy to have! My brothers and I begged for that damn thing, only to find out you never quite reached the end going as fast as they showed in the picture on the box. Another thing that kid in the picture never had to contend with? Sticks. Under the sliding mat. Damn sticks.

These days? Summer recreation is much more sophisticated. We take the boys to the Milwaukee area fests, sign them up for story time at the library and classes through the local Rec Department. We have a membership to the Zoo and travel quite a bit to visit friends. They're used to playing video games on their Leapfrog gaming systems, and sometimes even on the family Wii. When we take those car rides? You'd better believe we take along their dual screen portable DVD player.

My oldest son knew you could pause TV when he was two. He know how to put a movie in the DVD player and switch the outputs on the TV in order to watch it before he was three. He's seen more movies by this point in his life than I did by high school, and we have dozens more channels on our HD DirecTV than we had as kids.

But you know what? My boys would spend HOURS in their little plastic pool if we let them, and I've found that they're pretty entertained by a simple bucket of water.

First splash of the summer '08

How to keep kids busy for 20 minutes for $0


Anonymous said...

Sounds like we had similar fun over here - although a good few years apart! We had paddling pools but nothing as exciting as a Slip n Slide!

Our boys are far too technology minded than I'd like but kids don't 'play out' as much as we did now do they. Shame.


Shannon said...

Are you sure you didn't grow up in my neighborhood? We have similar memories. I had those same shorts.... in many different colors. My husband died out laughing the other day when my 8 year olds footies were all dirty and he had to wear crew socks (he complained that they were too long). Oh, if he only knew!

Kim H. said...


Awesome post! Loved those freezy pops - my kids have discovered them. They're really fun until their poo turns electric green when they've had too many. Sorry. I know. Why does it always go there?

Anyway, I'm going to totally join in some Friday - but your childhood pool memories remind me of mine. Except we never got a sweet slip and slide or cool pop-up side pool like you.

My dad got us a galvanized round horse tank - like what horses drink out of on the farm - for us to swim in.

Growing up on the Northside of Chicago, looking back, it was probably not the coolest pool on the block - but I'm telling you what, we had so much FUN in that thing. Years and years of fun.

Anonymous said...

My kids have the same kind of childhood as I did. Mainly because I'm too cheap to buy them any gaming devices. They are forced to go outside with a couple of spoons, a bucket of water or mud, some plates, and their imagination. Most of the time they like, it but I know that they envy the cool video games that their cousins have.

Good post.

Marni's Organized Mess said...

I did my first flashback... come check it out!! :D

We are THAT Family said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we lived on the same street, or at least the same decade.

Happy2bme said...

Funny thing is I remember my Aunt wearing those same shorts and matching striped socks when I was little.... I can't stop laughing.

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

I think we are exactly the same age and lived on the same street and lived the same life.