Growing up in a farm family of five kids we not only rode in the back of a truck, we drank from the hose and the tap down at the barn. We lived in a house with lead paint, climbed trees, jumped off barns, tied a toboggan to the back of the snowmobile and let ‘er rip, rode our ponies bareback and more.
I remember being around 12 and thinking it would be cool to smoke a cigarette – ick – glad that habit never stuck and no, I never smoked more than 1 or 2 puffs of it. Cough! Gag! Sputter! Bet you’ll never guess our hiding spot while we tried this out? The hayloft. Dry as tinder – surrounded by bales – and it made perfect sense at the time -but I shudder about that one now.
I also remember swimming in a fast moving river, skating on a (mostly) frozen pond, snowmobiling by moonlight, mowing the lawn in flip flops and running quickly through the bull’s pasture.
We did it all and lived to tell the tale My kids have only done a few of these things and the grands, even less. Somehow I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.
The freedom I grew up with gave us opportunities to make decisions for ourselves – good and bad. We learned the consequences of our actions. We saw what can happen when things go terribly wrong. We saw what can happen when … they don’t.
When my brothers and sisters and I reminisce about these adventures, Mom just shakes her head and covers her ears.
How about you? Did you survive … or thrive? What was the last thing you did that made you feel like a kid again?