I was watching two students this morning kicking a water bottle cap around the school yard for about 30 minutes. I'm not sure what was odder, the fact that kids could still have such a great time with a plastic screw on cap or that I actually stood at the teacher's room window glued to their every move. The head fake, the footwork, the nutmeg, the blatant kick to the shin...and ultimately, it true kid style, when the bigger stronger kid got tired of having circles run around him by the smaller, skinnier, more agile and skillful ball handling runt from a grade below him, he grabbed him by the arm, threw him to the ground, took possession of the makeshift soccer ball and blasted it top corner of the school bench...sending both boys into a joyful fit of laughter and enjoyment.
As the boys continued their non-PSP, non gameboy filled morning I began to think back to when we were kids living in the swamps of Florida, TV-less and without running water for that matter. We had the greatest time with everything that nature so generously provided us with as playthings. From chucking unopened pine cones at each other to building tree forts...from trying to rid the swamp of thistle plants with our hunga-bunga sticks to climbing skinny pines and trying to bend them over to the ground...we spent the majority of our days getting muddied up and just absolutely enjoying our time as siblings.
I can say that I'm super happy not to have had internet back then. I'm sure it would have been great, but gone would have been the days of watching mom and dad play pinochle around the campfire with their old friends. Gone would have been the days of exploring a newly discovered puddle and finding tadpoles in all of their stages of development, some with legs, some without, some with long tails, some with tails that had disappeared! Hours and hours without the interruption or feeling that I had to check my email or update my blog or facebook!
Many of the kids come to school wielding PSP's and other handheld computer games or cell phones with other uploaded game applications. It was funny for me to see a kid after school yesterday come into the admin office and open a drawer to retrieve her cell phone...the drawer was FILLED with phones and games that students have to "drop at the door" before their first period classes. I found that amusing.
I'm glad they didn't confiscate their bottle caps!