I’m a sucker for old movies. The classics that I used to watch as a kid growing up. Movies like “The Sandlot”, “That Thing You Do” and “Now and Then.” Recently I was home at my parents place for the weekend searching for a movie from our collection which still houses movies that my sister and I would watch growing up. “Now and Then” caught my eye and as one of my all time favourites, my mom and I sat down to watch it. It has so many vivid memories for me. I can still recite the whole movie and remember exactly when every song is going to play. It also has my first crush in it; Devon Sawa! It’s a classic for sure and brought back so many thoughts about my childhood. I too was just like those girls; waking up every morning in the summer time and leaving the house for the day to hang out and play with my friends.
I grew up on a side road out in the country with ponds, fields and lots of neighbourhood kids. We would spend all of our time outside swimming, playing hide and go seek in the field, looking for frogs, camping outside and making multiple bike rides to the store to satisfy our chocolate Popsicle addiction. Some of my greatest memories are spent on that side road getting bumps and scrapes and probably doing things we shouldn’t have been. Fast forward 20 years later and things are a lot different.
Here are 7 reasons why my kids summers won’t be the same as the movie.
- Red Rover – This was the ultimate game growing up. We played it in school and at home. I feel like in my elementary school days it may have even been banned from the schoolyard because kids got a little too rough with it. Nonetheless it brought everyone together and my excitement would build up just waiting for my name to be called. I doubt my kids will ever witness this game in someones back yard. I suppose that I will have to teach them but I suspect that there will be an app for that someday. Will my kids ever experience the rush of running so hard towards a line up of friends hoping to break through?
- Neighbourhood kids – Growing up it seemed like kids would come out in droves over the summer. We would shove some breakfast down our hatch and be out the front door with our parents yelling in the background to be home for lunch. Whether it was my side road or a street in town you would see kids everywhere biking around, running, shooting hoops or running through the sprinkler in the backyard. I don’t see too many kids nowadays just having fun for the sake of having fun. So much seems to be planned out like “play dates” and “circle time.” Whatever happened to running through the streets laughing at the top of your lungs? Will my kids ever experience the feeling of community?
- Signalling each other in their rooms – One of my favourite parts of the movie is how all the girls contact each other. I remember watching that for the first time and wondering if I could find a string long enough to go from my house to my best friends or if my flashlight had that much power. Now a quick text is all you need which then turns into 50 texts back and forth when a simple phone call could have been made in 30 seconds. Will my kids ever experience a secret way of keeping in touch among friends?
- Watering hole – My kids may never fly off a rope into the water like the Wormer brothers. They may never touch the bottom of a lake or come up for air with a big ole pile of seaweed on their face. Will my kids ever experience a good old-fashioned watering hole?
- Going to the library – Watching this part made me giggle especially when Roberta uses the biggest photocopier I have ever seen! In all seriousness though, I love the library. Always have and always will. There is something about the smell of books, how they sound when you open them and the quietness. This is the spot I used to go to research for a project or a school paper. Now we can just ask Siri. Will my kids ever experience a library?
- Playing cards – Seeing Samantha shuffle a deck of cards perfectly at the tarot card reading got me thinking about how many of us probably don’t know how to do that. Cards are so much fun and a great thing to occupy your time on a rainy day. Will my kids ever experience “Go Fish” or “Crazy 8 Countdown?” Will they even know what a deck of cards physically looks like if they have only seen them on a cellphone while someone is playing solitaire?
- Writing your thoughts down in a diary – There is nothing better than putting your thoughts to paper in a diary like Samantha did at the end of the movie and even better when you can do this on top of your roof! If you don’t know what I am referring to then you will have to see the movie but I hope kids will still know the importance of reading and writing and having a place all your own to store your thoughts and feelings. Will my kids ever have their own diary with all of their adventures of that day stored under lock and key?
All of these experiences I used to have as a kid seem so long ago and like I was in another world. Growing up in the country, outdoors with lots of play gave me some of the most amazing memories growing up. When I think about how my children’s childhood will be it gets me a bit worried. Will they ever experience all these things that make childhood so special, or will they spend it indoors learning about bugs on an iPad when they could be experiencing it for themselves outside? As I read this post back to myself I realize one major thing; they will experience all of these things if I choose to show them all of these things! It’s very simple really. My goal is to introduce them to everything that truly makes childhood amazing in hopes that yes, they will have some wonderful memories to look back on and tell their kids.
If you were to choose one thing to experience with your kids this summer, what would it be? Comment below.