It wasn’t that long ago when I couldn’t wait for summer to arrive, when daylight lasted well into the night hours. When my childhood friends and I would play hide-n-seek in the darkness of our yard. Where the trees and shrubs grew larger after the sun set, giving us an abundance of hiding places.
How well I remember my mother forcing me to get into the bathtub before bed, when I was too tired to walk. She would take a scrub brush to my feet that had played in the yard the whole day without ever touching the inside of my shoes. “These feet will never get into a bed of mine,” she would say as she scrubbed my feet clean.
Sadly we grew up and grew out of the hide-n-seek days, and the world grew out of them also. Now parents fear allowing their children to play in the darkness. They never know the thrill of hiding under the huge Lilac bush as the ‘IT’ person walks by, never seeing you. They will never know how hard it was to keep from laughing out loud as we tried to run to the designated free spot, where we declared our being free from being tagged as ‘IT’.
Talking to younger people today, they have a hard time understanding there was a time when there were no computers, video games, cell phones, or even smart TVs. There was a time when we were required to be smarter than our televisions.
I suppose I looked at my parents with the same questionable looks when they told me when they were children, they used an outhouse. That wasn’t all that long ago either.
There are days when I look at my years on this earth and think I have lived a long time, but the fact is, the world had changed faster than my years have passed. Someone asked me a while back if I could go back in time, where would I go. My answer came quickly.
I would go back to a warm summer night in Michigan, where the grass felt cool on my bare feet. Where I ran through the grass hoping my daddy had found all the sticker weeds, leaving none for my feet to find. Where I could here one of my friends counting down from one hundred before they came looking for us. When I ran past the Lilac bush, smelling the sweet blossoms, before I crawled under one of the big pine trees to hide. Where I could here hear my mom call me into the house again, as it was bath time and my friends needed to get home, as it was getting late. I can almost hear the groans from everyone, wishing for just one more game. And after my bath, including the foot scrubbing, I would crawl exhausted into a clean bed of sheets that had been hung out on the clothes lines for drying. Probably the only smell better than the Lilac bushes, in my memory.
Yes, I would go back in a heartbeat, but it wasn’t all that long ago.