Kids These Days

While at a family dinner the other night, after the children had excused themselves for this reason or that, my brother mentioned a major concern of his regarding his children. Apparently he has a very hard time motivating them to play outside. They would much prefer to remain inside, downstairs, in front of the TV in the dark, playing video games. This is not a new phenomenon. Kids have been lazy since the dawn of time.
We were merely marveling at he lack of imagination the general population of kids have.
When I grew up you wouldn’t catch me inside during the summer, except to maybe sneak a popsicle. There was one summer when I vowed to my parents I would not sleep in my bed until school started again. One rainy night put an end to that, but still, if the sun was up we were gone. We rode bikes, built forts, rode bikes, started clubs, rode bikes, went swimming, rode bikes, played neighborhood games, rode bikes, explored old barns, which there were plenty of. The main problem with us is that our parents never knew where we were, which was the point of this conversation, turned tirade, turned stroll down memory lane.
Our main occupation was fort building. We’d build a fort; spend weeks on it, and when it was finally done with a custom flag of it’s own, strung up a makeshift flagpole, we’d move on and build another. They needed custom flags because every fort represented a new club. I think we did that so that we could feel cool. What’s better than belonging to a dozen very exclusive clubs? The customized flag was important. It let you know you were doing more than just playing; you were organizing. The emblems on the flags themselves were often bolts of lightningKids building forts or stars or anything else having to do with our favorite super-hero at the time, and were usually old dishrags colored with markers. And the flagpoles were typically a broomstick with the broom unscrewed from the end (our moms loved that). The great thing about a fort is that you can build one anywhere: bushes, ditches, barns, pits in the ground, the middle of a field, basically any place angry old men told you never to come back to.
We all had a good laugh and were willing to end the evening on an obligatory “kids these days!”

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