We stumbled into a playground that time forgot this weekend, and it echoed with the voices of my childhood.
“Red rover. Red rover. Let Laura come over!”
I lingered there in the twilight, watching our Gen Alpha five-year old scamper delightedly through all that metal equipment and hearing my Baby Boomer friends Chrissy, Peggy, Wendy and the Watermolen brothers calling out on nights when we all gathered for games of Kick the Can and Frozen Tag that we could play until the street lights came on.
We teetered there on the edge of 1970, and tottered back to Fisk Street, my childhood home. My greatest wish back then was for a banana-seat bicycle with a white plastic basket that had big purple and pink flowers clipped on. We wore bell bottomed pants, put Dippity Do in our hair and waited each fall for the Friday night TV special that would announce that year’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup.
Last weekend I pushed our little guy on an actual metal merry-go-round, caught him underneath slippery metal monkey bars and wondered that such a place even existed in the modern world.
I’d never advocate for a return to those particular good ole days, where we burned the back of our legs on those hot metal slides and sometimes swung so hard we uprooted the swing set.
I like today, where, thanks to modern technology, I can still keep in touch with some of those childhood friends.
I’m also very grateful for the vastly improved playground equipment our parks all currently feature, because it’s accessible to everyone and, really so much more fun.
If you had a sweet childhood, though, it’s nice to slide back for a moment or two.
Olly Olly Oxen free!