The things that I used to do


Brian Golden

Things were much simpler when I was young and growing up in Norwich, no cell phones, home computers, Internet or cable with thousands of channels. I understand this will make me sound old to some younger readers, but then again, I am older now (and hopefully wiser).
When I hear people complaining that there is nothing for kids to do around here, I have to shake my head and wonder what they’re talking about. I believe the problem is that kids have so much to do, especially with today’s technology, that they’ve lost the most important quality of all, imagination.
I cannot count the number of games my friends and I concocted. There was Spider (a kind of spooky Hide and Seek), Ditch (remember the days of flitting through neighborhood backyards), and if nothing else there was always “battle the aliens/monsters/nazis” which adults could not see but we could. That’s not even mentioning the games of football, baseball, basketball and ultimate Frisbee.
As I got older and more interested in music, I spent less and less time pursuing sports and playing games (no we did not have Guitar Hero either, you actually had to learn how to play), yet even learning an instrument forced me to use my imagination (I started with “air guitar” and progressed upwards). Music became my passion, although it took me years to realize there was more to music than Hendrix, Clapton, S.R.V., Gilmore and Knopfler.
I know it may sound kind of silly, but parents, please try to explain to your kids that all the stuff they take for granted wasn’t always here. Tell them to read a book (and not on-line), write a story, take a hike (like in the woods, not get out of my face) or build a fort (tree, ground, bedroom, wherever). These are many of the things I did as a child, and I’m better for it now. Oh, and don’t forget, at least once every summer and no matter your age, to splash in as many puddles as you can.