Where's the kids?

By Obnoxious John | Aug 16, 2010



A summer time blog

Obnoxious John



A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be able to join most of my immediate and extended family for a reunion back in Michigan. We talked, laughed, ate and told lies and had a very nice time. There were photographs of those no longer with us.  Being immersed in family at the reunion (close to 100 people) dredges up thoughts of long ago.

The memory that occurs most frequently to me when going back home is what it was like as a kid in Detroit in the summer.

Not sure if it was coincidence or deliberate but we always seemed to live near an elementary school. These schools had HUGE, I’m not kidding, HUGE playground areas. There was room for several different groups of kids to partake of several different activities and we never got in one another’s way.

In the summer in our neighborhoods the itinerary for this ten year old consisted of 1) breakfast, 2) playing baseball, softball, Five Hundred, pickle, burn out and step baseball. 3) lunch 4) baseball, softball, Five Hundred, well ,you get the idea I hope!

We were outside and active. We didn’t have anyone watching us or calling on the cell phone to check on our well being. Disputes flared up quickly and were doused just as fast. It didn’t take long to know who you did and didn’t want to be on a team with.

In the evenings we chased fireflys, june bugs, dodged mosquitos and played kick the can. We hoped the streetlights would never come on and tried bargaining via the “just a minute’ shouted to Mom when we heard her call for us to come in.

Today when I drive by a school in the summer or down streets of local neighborhoods, I’m struck by how neat and tidy everything is. Then I notice there are NO children playing baseball, or in keeping with the times, soccer at the local school yard or in the street or wherever.

There are no sunburns, skinned knees or grass stained pants from sliding into second. To paraphrase that TV ad from the 80’s, “where’s the kids?”


Now get out there and take one for the team!

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