Apple, Peaches, Punkin PieI was born in the mid 60's so I am lucky to have grown up in the era when kids knew how to be kids. We didn't have video games, cell phones, laptop computers, or electric scooters. We had sunshine, sweat, dirt, tons of friends, and the only responsibility we had was to make sure we got home before the street lights came on.
Slowly and predictably, my days filled with fun and laughter gradually came to an end for the most part when I became an adult. My life consisted of working, paying rent, cleaning, laundry, car payments and being a responsible adult.
When I was approaching my thirties I got to go back in time, but just for one glorious day.
At this point in my life, I lived with my sister Kimberly who was a single mother, doing her best to raise her son David. The three of us were a family because David had Mom #1 and then he had me, Mom #2. He didn't call me "Mom", but always acknowledged me (and still does) as his other parent.
One summer day when David was about 8 years old, a couple neighborhood boys came over to play. They played in the house for a while but after a couple hours, I told them to go play outside. "It's a nice day, Guys. Why don't you get out and get some fresh air, huh?" I told them, and they but didn't seem thrilled with the idea. I didn't understand exactly why they didn't want to play outside until after about 30 minutes, I looked through the window and there they were, sitting on the porch and doing absolutely nothing. Times were a little different than they are now. Parents weren't as paranoid about letting their kids play outside like they are today. Nowadays, most parents don't feel comfortable letting their children play without keeping their eyes on them 100% of the time. But at that time, you could let them have a little freedom as long as they were within earshot. On this beautiful, sunshiny day, David and his buddies were bored. Extremely bored.
"Hey Guys, what are you doing?" "Nothing" David replied. "We don't have anything to do", one of his friends chimed in. "Why don't you guys play Hide and Seek or something?" I said trying to sound enthusiastic about the idea. "We don't know how to play that." David said. What?! They didn't know how to play Hide and Seek! Well, I knew I could fix that.
"Let me get my shoes on and I'll come out and teach you". I walked into the living room to get my 'tennies' (what we called tennis shoes when I was growing up) and I started to feel excited because I was going to go outside and play!
"Ok, first we have to find out who is going to be 'it'. C'mere and stand in a circle and everyone stick out one foot.....alright, good" This was feeling so familiar to me because I must've done this hundreds of times as a kid. As I tapped each one of their feet, I heard myself saying "Occa, Bocca, Soda Crocka, Occa, Bocca, Boo. In comes Uncle Sam and out goes Y-O-U!
My finger landed on David's foot. "You're out David....alright, here we go again. "My mother and your mother were out hanging clothes. My mother punched your mother right in the nose..." and I smiled at how it was vividly coming back to me.
It was determined that I was the first one 'it'. I told them I would count to 20 and in that time, they had to find the best hiding place they could find. I said that the telephone pole on the corner would be ba
When I got to twenty, I loudly screamed "Apple, Peaches, Punkin Pie.....Who's not ready, hollar I ", to give them a little bit more time. In the distance I heard one of them shouting back so I yelled it again. When I didn't get a response, I was off. I looked under porches, in the hedges, behind parked cars and then I heard running footsteps heading toward home ba
I also taught them that when they reach home ba
This wonderful game went on for hours. I felt like a kid again. I was running around the neighborhood until I was almost out of breath, sweating, getting dirty, screaming....I think I even ripped my shirt a little on one of the bushes. It was awesome! I couldn't remember the last time I had so much fun. I wasn't a grown woman that afternoon. I was 9 years old and all I had to do that day was make it to home ba
The day ended and the boys went home, filthy dirty and extremely happy. I looked at myself when I went inside and started to laugh. I didn't care that I had to pick the dried grass out of my hair, clean under my dirty fingernails and try to get the bright green grass stain out of pants. It was so worth it.
After that fantastic day, the cherry on the cake happened two days later. David's buddies rang the doorbell and when David answered, I heard them say "Can you and Aunt Joyce come out and play?".
joyceluvsjames 46-50, F 5 Responses 3 Jul 30, 2012