Today’s guest post comes from Crystalbay.
Finding adventures in the suburb was my third child’s greatest joy. It’s often said that kids these days have little desire to actually go outside and find something active to do. TV, video games, computers, and social media consume them.
The art and respect for actual conversations seems lost on this generation. I’ve told my teenaged grand kids that they’re welcome to the lake, but not if they bring their Iphones.
I haven’t seen them since.
Steve, now 44, was by far the most precocious kid I’ve even known. I think that rather than try to capture the activities he dreamt up as a story, I’ll just bullet point them:
- built a zip line in a public preserve
- made a straw into a dart gun that would send sewing pins through the air. (Unfortunately, his first dart ended up in the school bus driver’s cheek.)
- went skateboarding in the city’s underground storm sewer system wearing a minor’s flashlight hat
- took girls to the top of a water tower and swam in the tank
- built a 3-story A frame from a large hole he dug
- when confined to a downstairs bedroom as punishment for sneaking out of his upstairs bedroom, put hinges on the storm windows to make them into doors
- made a large dummy called “Fleed”, complete with a wig and clothing, then would toss him onto the road just as a car neared. I guess that he just wanted to see the driver’s reaction thinking he’d run over a person
- learned the months of the year by using a dozen Playboy Magazine covers he found in a dumpster
- dug a hole in a very thick book into which these pictures fit so that he could show them to his school friends (he got caught for this one)
- almost blew his thumb off seeing what would happen if he hit a nail gun bullet with a hammer
- hid a couple of girls behind the knee wall which he outfitted with sleeping bags, strobe lights, and music
- put his sister’s goldfish under her covers because he thought they were cold
- created a giant Johnny Jump Up out of two garage door springs and a seat. Jumping from a tall tree branch, this thing went 20’ feet up and down (this one ended badly when a spring broke and gashed a kid’s scalp)
- collected lunch money from other kids by selling a hidden stash of candy
This is just the partial list of Steve’s adventures. It’s amazing that he lived through his capers and that his parents were more amused than angry. He also went on to teach himself the 12-string acoustic guitar and learned all of Leo Kottke’s music.
His wife threw a “Man Shower” just before their baby was born. My contribution to this event was a booklet, complete with illustrations drawn by his nephew, sharing Steve stories.
I entitled it; “Things Your Daddy May Not Want You to Know”.
What adventures did you create during childhood?