Whatever happened to …


… bruises and skinned knees?

It’s a topic near and dear to my wife’s heart.  We visit a lot of public places walking the dog.  (We enjoy the variety, I don’t know if he appreciates it or not)

Typically, on one of these outings, the conversation will turn to the playground equipment that is available for kids to play with.  Or, more vehemently, the equipment that isn’t there.

Inevitably, the conversation turns to the good old days when we were in elementary school.  We had it all.  Swings, baseball diamonds where you ran from school at recess to be the first to tag up to hit, teeter-totters, slides, and so much more.

Swings were fun because you’d get them going as high as you could and then jump off onto the dirt to see how far you could roll.  Or teeter-totters were you would do the “bumps” to see if you could knock the other person off.

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Photo Credit: PINOY PHOTOGRAPHER Flickr via Compfight cc

Our principal form of transportation were our bikes.  When we rode to school, we would hook the handlebars over the long metal rack.  You know the ones that you licked in the winter to see if teachers were right about your tongue sticking to it?  Nobody had a lock and chain; in fact the first one that I ever remembered owning was when I went to university.  You just trusted everyone and I don’t ever recall anyone “stealing” my bike.

Many of these activities included the opportunity to fall and hurt ourselves.  It happened all the time but you just got up and dusted yourself off.  You didn’t want anyone seeing you crying and it took an arm or a leg that pointed in funny directions to get you to go to the nurse’s office.

So much of this is now gone.  The only teeter-totter that we can remember is one that sits in the school yard of a long-since closed school.  The metal swings and slides that we remember are now composed of bright colours, made from plastic, and they’re very small, obviously geared to the younger kids.

How about you?  What are your thoughts for this Sunday?

  • Do you recall the old “playgrounds of death” that are now just a memory?
  • Do you remember where your mother kept the mercurochrome?  Can you even buy it these days?
  • Did you bike to school?  Did you have a need to chain your bike?
  • Have we put today’s youth in a bubble to protect themselves from damage during recess and weekends or have we come to the realization that the good ol’ days were just outright dangerous?

We’d enjoy reading your thoughts via comment below?

The complete collection of posts in this series is available here.

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OTR Links 10/22/2017


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.