The other night I rushed the family from our daughters softball game over to our CPA to sign our taxes. Driving like a madman, hoping to arrive in the nick of time to beat the deadline for an extension, we zipped through city streets like James Bond chasing down an adversary in his shiny Aston Martin. After awhile I found my jaw locked tighter than King Tutts tomb. My face so frozen like granite that one could bounce a quarter from my forehead. My shoulders squared off like a New York city parkbench. Tense I guess would be the theme I am going for here? I was just a little tense….
After partaking in the usual pleasantries, we inked our paperwork, then I slithered back into the car deflated, defeated and just plain old mentally exhausted. I found myself daydreaming of easier times, when I held no responsibilities other than waking up in the morning, carrying out a few chores, and feebly wandering my way through school. Yeah those were the good times alright! No responsibilities at all…….
It’s amazing how the old adage of “the grass is always greener on the other side” pops to mind right now. For as I wondered aimlessly through the bright and shiny portions of my past all I could see was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as opposed to the rock it was sitting upon. Yet when things aren’t going so well, amazingly I only find garbage when peering under that very same rock. Our mind has a way of sheltering us from past experiences during some recollections while reminding us of those very same experiences during more emotional times. Curious, so very curious…
Back to the beginning.
So while driving home during my “pot at the end of the rainbow” period I chose to think of all the things I miss about being a kid. Yep I was yearning for the old days! Off in the land of the Walltons, Fall Guy and Wendy Peffercorn! No responsibilities at all, just me and my crazy youth! Since I was in dream land I decided to take the quantum leap into the furthest reaches of my mind and come up with a list of all the things I missed about being a kid. When it was over I carefully narrowed them down to a fair resemblance of a top ten. Here they are…
10. Missile pops. Nothing was better on a summer’s day than a missile pop, didn’t matter where you were or how you got it. Melty, sticky, ice-cold and delicious! It was awesome! As an adult they just don’t taste the same…
9. Going barefoot. As a kid you could pretty much get away with being barefoot, whenever you wanted. As an adult now a days people just think you are weird. I still remember how good the grocery store floor felt under my bare feet as a kid. As an adult it’s just plain gross.
8. My A&A custom made, motocross racing bike. It was flat black with a little chrome and it was cool. That bike was the center of my universe. I took the whole thing apart down to the frame then put it back together, just to prove to myself that I could. I jumped everything I could on that bike. Rode it ten miles to town just so I could cruise around the plaza downtown. I loved it, loved it, loved it! Shed a tear when at thirty-five I sent the worn out old frame to the recyclers after cleaning up my parents place during their move to a new house.
7. Summertime. Being allowed to play from sun up till sundown. Running around our ranch, hanging out with horse trainers and their kids, building forts out of hay, generally just being a kid.
6. The fair: I saved money all year-long waiting for the fair. I showed sheep so I was at the fairgrounds from sun-up till sundown all week-long. The money wasnt for rides, or cotton candy or even to play those stupid carnival games. Oh no! The money I saved was for one thing and one thing only! CORNDOGS! I ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week straight! They were my drug of choice and baby I couldn’t get enough! Just the smell sent me into drooling fits of hunger! Even now, I just drooled a little on the keyboard.
5. Swim practice: This was a true love hate relationship which is why its number five. I loved swim practice, because everyday I was guaranteed to see my friends for a least an hour and a half. Plus being a young lad rolling into puberty it was always an hour of prepubescent giggles between my friends and I as we watched the cute girls walk by in their shimmering one piece swimsuits! The hate part revolved solely around the hard work encompassed in practice itself. It was long, grueling and tiring. Although I never complained when we practiced in the rain, I always found those practices to be the most interesting. Something strange about being wet in the pool while more water flows onto you from the clouds above.
4. Summer camp: Oh yeah, friends, swimming, hiking, snipe hunts, marshmallows and a week away from chores, my parents and my sister. Enough said….
3. Hot Wheels: The sole reason for my fascination with all makes and models of automobiles to this day. British, Russian, Croatian, American, German, Bavarian, I love them all. If you have created or plan on creating an automobile I have either read about you, salivated over your creations or just plain envied you. I am the guy who can find at least one redeeming quality on even the worst made machine. I am always looking to understand the vision of a designer. I cherished American Muscle as a youth and still do to this day. I also am a big fan of German engineering and British ingenuity. But at the end of the day I owned more hot wheels as a kid that revolved around two cars and two cars only. The American made Corvette and the German-made Porsche. Go fast straight and hang on g-force in the turns. I love them both! I have owned a Corvette and can’t wait until the day comes when my cob-web filled bank account opens its doors allowing me the privilege of wrapping my poor fingers around the steering wheel of a 911. Preferably a GT2-RS. One can only dream.
2. Sunday night fried chicken dinners! We ate until we popped and it was always great. No one can have a bad day after eating moms fried chicken. It was fantastic. Heck, really its about more than fried chicken. It’s about being able to eat anything at anytime without worrying about cholesterol, fat content, how many grams of protein or what my total caloric intake was for the day. Take that BMI!
1. Playing basketball with my dad. I know it will never happen again. I know it was only for a very short period of time, yet it remains one of the things I miss most about being a kid. Just the two of us, no sister, no mom, just us, laughing and having a good time..
Now I am sure at least one of you out there is saying to themselves; What about the lack of responsibility as a child? With the lead in you gave isn’t that what you were searching for? In reality I had tons of responsibility. More than most kids I am sure. We lived on a working ranch and my day was pretty full with chores that revolved around the welfare and care of animals. I learned a lot about responsibility as a child and I am doing my best to pass those traits on to my children. Oh, I am sure my parents would argue I was lazy and self-centered. A chore shirker who had to be begged and harassed into completing his work. But at the end of the day, my chores were always done and I went to bed exhausted. Somedays I even took to counting the minutes until I could lay down upon my pillow and shut down the machine.
So in the end it has always been this way for me. I always had to be doing something as a kid, as an adult I am no different. Rush here or rush there, on time or late. It’s all the same. The grass truly isn’t greener, for all that I miss about being a kid pales in comparison to all the cool things I can participate in as an adult.