October 21, 2005

Remembering How to Play

I took the boys to the park today. It's been awhile since we've done that. My wife didn't go; I couldn't get her out of bed. She was having another one of those days....

We arrived, and I let them loose. They met up with some other children, as they always do, and all the children were involved in some sort of game. I watched closely to see if I could figure this game out. Hiding and seeking were part of it, but there was more.

It seems like not so long ago that I played games like this, not so very far in the past that I knew how to play them. I seem to have forgotten. Can that be possible? I used to know. I used to be able to play such games. But I've forgotten how. I've forgotten....

I looked at some of the other parents, sitting at the picnic table, chatting. I don't feel like I'm ready to sit and watch and socialize. Those are the adult games, and I'm not ready for them yet. But clearly, I'm too old to remember the rules of how to play these childhood games. So I just kind of stand in the middle, watching the kids play.

Eventually, the girls who had been on the tire swing for so long ran off, and suddenly I was commissioned: "Dad! Come push us on the tire swing!" So I did have a part in this after all. "Faster! Faster! No, that's too fast! I want off! No, I'm OK now. Go!" Of course, I don't ride tire swings anymore. They make me sick. Rollercoasters at Six Flags I can handle, but not the tire swing at the park.

The girls came back. There's room for three on the tire swing, and since those riding need time to rest and let their stomachs recover, we settled into a sort of rotation pattern. Then the girls left. And then, tired and hungry, so did we.

Maybe tonight in my dreams I'll remember how to play those games.


jo(e) said...

We must be thinking along the same lines. I just wrote a blog post tonight about childhood games, and I was thinking how I don't think we ever outgrow our need to play.

peripateticpolarbear said...

I don't remember the unorganized games very well, either. I still have the ones with rules down pretty well...but only because of camp.