As a child, I loved playing with Fisher Price Little People. If you’ve been here any amount of time, you know that my sister and I created a large village for our “kids,” and we spent hours creating various scenarios for them.
When I was around sixth grade, I remember realizing that soon it was not going to be “okay” for me to play with my kids anymore. This stressed me out, because I knew I was still going to want to play with them. I was actually quite sure that I would still want to play with them when I was an adult, yet I knew this would be totally unacceptable. WHAT WOULD I DO?
I recently finished reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl,” and it was refreshing to know that I wasn’t the only one reluctant to grow up. Here’s a passage where Laura expresses some of what I did:
“We were playing particularly hard at recess and noon. The snow was deeper and softer than usual and we chose sides and had snow-ball fights that were gorgeous.
“Mary objected to my playing such rough games out doors with the boys, but she could not keep me in and once when she took both hands full of my loose, long hair and tried to hold me I stiffened my neck and dragged her to the door where she caught some of the snowballs herself before she let me go. Then she told Ma about it and Ma said I was to large a girl to play that way any more. I would soon be thirteen and must be more of a lady. After that I stayed with the big girls and the very little ones in the house. The other girls of my crowd would not go because I didn’t and soon the boys had all the outdoor fun to themselves except on the way to and from school.”
When did I actually stop playing with my “kids?” I don’t remember. It must have been sometime during junior high, since I don’t recall playing with them while I was in high school. I have to admit that I don’t have any desire to play with them these days (although I still enjoy looking at them). I really don’t enjoy playing children’s games at all — whether with my own children or others, I have never enjoyed sitting on the floor and “playing” with little kids. It just doesn’t excite me. I suppose the magic has passed, or, in “Polar Express” lingo, I can no longer hear the bell ring.
I do envy all the children out there, enjoying their play. In childhood, our days seem so long, the years interminable. Looking back, they were so brief. I think my own children’s childhoods passed by even faster.
I don’t wanna grow up: do you remember wishing that, or were you in a hurry to be older?