QC Blog: Childhood Pastimes

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Childhood Pastimes

My memory has been flooded with the games I forgot to write about in the last post. One of my favorite games was Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light, Stop. I just love saying it real fast. There were so many running and chasing games we played like "It" tag and Freeze Tag. We played Sugar Baby and Dodge Ball and Stick Ball. I loved Roller Skating. We had the 4 wheeled metal skates with that wonderful little roller skate key (which I still have). There was such an art to getting the skate to fit over your tennis shoe and not be too tight, but not fall off either. And in my memory, I was able to skate like the wind. Of course I lived on a brick street, so I probably wasn't moving too fast, but I have selective recall.

We spent so many hours playing Hide and Seek. What a wonderful game that was. It helped you learn to count as you grew up. And it was a game of trust. Did you really hide your eyes all that time, or did you cheat a little and peek to see where kids were hiding? I never peeked (much). And when you were done counting, you called "Ally, Ally, In Free." I think that's a variation of what the actual phrase should be, but I don't really know what ALLY is supposed to mean.

When nighttime came around, I'd run in the house yelling that I needed a jar so I could catch lightning bugs. I remember being so impatient as my mom hammered holes into a metal jar lid, thinking they'd be all gone if she didn't hurry. Probably my real fear was the kids would tire of the game before I got out there, and the fun would be over. Were you a ring maker with your lightning bugs? Did you kill them just to see them splatter (yuck)? Or did you capture their magic for a time in your little glass jar and after watching them blink for a time, let them go at the end of the night, none the worse for wear?

Magic is a good word for it - childhood memories.

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