Saturday, September 14, 2019

not at play

Critique of re-creating school playground time for adults as the happy time of their childhood. My comments:

Oh yes, like you I detested school recess. I would stay in the classroom reading if the teacher would let me. Otherwise I'd wander around along the back fences of the yard, as far away from everyone else as I could get.

I wouldn't say that what I liked about childhood was the absence of things like bills or marital tension. My god, as a child I had virtually no money and couldn't buy anything unless I begged my parents, so money was a very tight issue; and as for adult interpersonal tensions, those have nothing on sibling tension or the heavy foot of parental authority, let alone being bullied by other children.

What I liked about childhood was where I did have agency and control over my own actions. I could read whatever I liked, and my parents trusted me so I could go off on bicycle expeditions anywhere I wanted so long as I was home by dinner.* That latter is a privilege few parents would allow their children today. But the point is: I can still read whatever I want, and I can still travel wherever I want so long as I can fit it in my schedule. What made me happy as a child is what still makes me happy today. It just has nothing to do with schoolyard playing, then or now.

*They trusted me because I was a whiz with maps. I was navigating family car trips by the time I was 8.

No comments:

Post a Comment