Let me just go ahead and give a small disclaimer. I am a gym rat, a runner, and a strength trainer. Not a single thing about these elements of my now current self originated from my childhood. Contrary to my exuberant nature, most of these activities tend to be much more passive and subdued. That said, here goes. My favorite kid pasttimes:
1.) Reading. Yup. This hasn’t changed. I was the kid who brought her book to the grocery store, flipping pages while my mom flipped coupons in her coupon box. I had reading competitions in kindergarten with my best friend to see who could read the biggest stack of Bernstein Bears the fastest. I actually looked forward to time out because it meant quiet time to read. My mom got wise, and horror of all horrors, took my dear books away. Punishment indeed.
2.) Writing. Another mainstay. I loved to write stories as a kid, from early elementary school, all the way into high school and beyond. Mostly, my writing has always been autobiograhical or journal-oriented. I did take on a few creative writing projects in middle school, projects my Grandpa was proud to see. I get my love for the written word from him. Still miss you, Grandpa. Wish you could see me walk down the aisle in 23 days…
3.) Worm collecting. I’ve also always been a sucker for justice and I can’t handle watching anything suffer. Just after the rain, on weekends or week nights, my best friend and I would go collect all the worms that were left to dry out and expire on the asphalt, and place them back in the gutter or the grass, whichever had the most water, as our act of salvific heroism.
4.) Card games. My mom, my Aunt Betty, my grandma I never knew, and my great grandma are/were all avid card sharks. Solitaire was probably my favorite to play because it can be done anywhere anyhow and involves a good deal of competition. However, I am an extrovert, so my favorite version of solitaire was always double solitaire, a face off between my mom and I.
5.) Toilet Papering. I can still remember some of my earliest tping experiences, when my mom, and my friends’ moms, finally deemed us old enough for this semi-vandalistic activity. My mom was our driver, even rolling us through McDonald’s for a late night snack. This is also always in conjunction with sleepovers. It was a given. If there was a sleepover, some boy one of us had a crush on was getting his house smeared in white Charmin. No questions asked.
6.) Saturday morning chores. Let me clarify. I did not enjoy the chores. But, I did enjoy that mom and dad would bust out the John Denver every Saturday morning from the record player (yup, that vinyl life), and blast it through the house while we wiped off bathroom counters, straightened closets, and cleaned floors. “Grandma’s Featherbed,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” and “Annie’s Song” are sentimental pieces for this not-at-all country girl who has come full circle to loving folk music again.
I’m glad to see while I’ve picked sports up along the way, some of my more formative passions have remained: reading, writing, justice, good old fashioned fun, and music.