We had visitors over the holiday weekend, and that included some pre-teens who anxiously awaited the fireworks display with cameras in hand. I’m pretty sure they spent more time trying to focus their cameras than actually watching the sparkly explosions in the sky. One camera-less child repeatedly asked her Mom to video it for her. I gently suggested that we just enjoy the moment and not worry about having it on camera. But what really cracked me up was when one said to another, “I wish the fireworks would hurry up and end so I can go watch them on my video.”
The girls kept busy for four days playing together, riding the horse, and inventing games that involved jumping from one huge hay bale to the next with results that reminded me of the “Wipeout” commercials on TV. The boys in this group divided their time up between bouncing on the trampoline and playing video games on my computer. One would play while the others watched over his shoulder. Then they’d change places, taking turns at the controls. They seem to enjoy this kind of “activity.” I use that term generously, because I see little activity taking place, unless you count the sound effects coming from the guys. Somehow I have a hard time imagining that my parents would have allowed much of this. Unless it was raining or pitch black nighttime, it was always “Go outside and play.” Our neighborhood gang (that included anyone old enough to walk and not yet old enough to drive) played games that encompassed several blocks of back yards, and lasted for weeks during the summer. Each day, we’d pick up where we left off the evening before. When the town’s curfew whistle blew, we all scrambled for home on a run, because we dared not be late.
Eventually, most everyone here for the weekend headed up to the pond with a kayak in tow. The first one in the craft dumped himself before ever launching away from the edge of the water, much to the amusement of all the others. When they came back to the house, they were all dripping wet from an unplanned dip in the pond. Everyone was laughing and jabbering at the same time. Now, THAT is what I’d call genuine activity.
So much for that … now it’s back to the old grind for all the parents and grandparents. The kids? They’ll probably continue doing what they like best for the rest of the summer.