Schroeder's View

Monday, October 9, 2006

Imagine That

We've all heard the stories of our parents not having much for toys and most often they played with sticks and rocks. Well believe it or not, me too. My friends and I spent hours upon hours playing in the woods (or jungle depending on our mood.) We threw rocks and twigs as weapons. We also climbed trees, climbed tanks; which we knew was a no no, but would lay down flat whenever anyone would drive by. We would sneak into the round house and yell just to hear our echoes, trek about the creek and construct leaf houses so popular the whole neighborhood would congregate and fight over which room was theirs.

We were out the door at daybreak and only came inside before bed, following a few games of kick the can.

Back in those days we didn't fear anyone abducting us and our parents were just glad to have us out of their hair, but if for some reason we were stuck in the house, we made sure that our buddies were in with us. Imagine a house full of elementary aged girls.

We didn't sit around and watch T.V., and yes it was color back then; nor did we sit around playing video games... there were none. We did enjoy a good board game once in a while, like Operation or Twister, and so many afternoons were spent performing our version of karaoke. Back then there were no screens to read the lyrics from. We memorized the music and performed the same song over and over. If memory serves me correctly, "American Pie" was the song of that decade..

I am a bit miffed at the lack of imagination of our younger generation. My children played McDonald's, the grocery store and house and ran about the pasture while growing up, but following a visit from my childhood friend from Colorado I realized that times have changed. I fear for these younger children that they may not grow up knowing the joy of getting dirty and being able to fly to the moon.. if only in their imaginations.

These kids are entertained by video games and DVDs, many have televisions and computers in their rooms. Toys are all electronic and leave nothing to the imagination. Studies show that hand eye coordination skills are high amongst this generation, but what about expanding the imagination.

I have noticed that my grandchildren are entertained easily by Disney, Dora and Bear in the Big Blue House, but by the same token they have also been introduced to playing pretend. As a matter of fact we have had tea parties and Grandpa can be seen laying on the ground stargazing and talking to the moon with them. How fun is that? I miss the days of bonding and reverting back to my childhood so this is a warm welcome. But I also fear that they too will be drawn into becoming couch potatoes and video game fanatics. I can only hope that between their parents and we as grandparents that we will continue to broaden their horizons and keep not only their eye hand coordination at it's peak but also expand their imaginations.

I look forward to my next tea party.