Friday, September 3, 2010

To be a kid again

Earlier this week I went to purchase some groceries to prepare a picnic with Beli and when I was walking towards the store I heard giggles in the distance, I looked around and saw a group of kids nearby playing on a small grassy hill. I took a closer look and noticed they were sliding down the hill all five or six of them, with large pieces of cardboard.
I saw in amazement as another kid went skating down the same hill. I was so surprised and happy, I guess I'm not used to seeing children playing outdoors, using their imagination and having fun.
This brought back memories from my own childhood when my Mom would tell my sisters and I "go play outside with the other kids in the neighborhood." I guess we were too noisy and she couldn't watch her soap opera. But in all honesty, I prefer being outdoors than sitting indoors playing video games.

What about you, do you have special memories playing with the neighborhood kids?


  1. Dear Elisa, playing outdoors was such a normal thing in all the ex Yugoslav countries. Then as the western way of life slowly came in it began disappearing. I lived in a neighborhood with lots of tall buildings and it was usual to go outside and play everyday. We had playgrounds everywhere, now some are turned into parking lots, and we had a usual time when all the kids would come out and play.We would form groups according to the age and invent our own games. Sometimes we would put our ice cream money together and buy prizes for the winners of the games. We were so inventfull. Now the things have changed, 90% of the kids don't go outside, television, computers, the 21 century has taken it's toll. It is a sad thing. You can only see small kids on the playground with parent, and often they don't play together or just don't know how. The age of innocence has gone by. Saddly!

  2. Oh Yes! I have great memories of playing outside! In fact, in the South, Georgia (in the U.S.), outside is the ONLY place to be!! We ran and played all day long most of the time. Skipping rocks on the pond, chasing chickens in the yard, playing "Tag", jumping rope, playing marbles in the dirt, "hopscotch", or "double dutch". We HATED to go in when it got dark!!

  3. after 62 years I found myselve the playground I was used to enjoy in my young years.

    grown up in the Netherlands, outside a medium large city, the fields, the farms and the forests were my palying ground, and the variety of games was endless.
    they built a highway, the town grew and I got older.

    but here, in Croatia, in the middle of pure nature, all of it returns to enjoy and play around in.
    sure, I am older, my "games" less childish, but I am the most happy person to have it all back again, far away from crowded Holland, just the way I liked it most when I was young.

    for nature lovers like me, this is the best playground one can dream of.

    dirty cloths, a bleeding knee, chasing birds and frogs, it's all here, and I love it !!!!

    lucky me, lucky us, and hope to "play" as long as possible here.

  4. Great post and nice photos!! When I was growing up in Japan, I used to go outside with friends by ourselves. No adult supervision was required. I heard it was the same in the United States when the people our generation were kids, but now you would not let young children (early elementary school kids) go out by themselves without an adult supervising them in the U.S. until they are much older because of the security reason. Time has changed.

    I love it when kids play with their imagination. Since we moved overseas and did not have our stuff for 5 weeks, my kids were forced to play without toys. I think that the nature is the best toy for them!! Kaho

  5. Jelena,
    My hubby was telling me about his childhood (also growing up in the ex-yugoslav) that all the neighboorhood kids would play together until late at night. It was considered safe back then..It's shame that technology is getting in the way of our kids childhood.
    and it's funny you mention the playground because a few days ago I took Beli and nobody was there! I mean no one and then after a half hour a mom showed up with the daughter and Beli RAN to the little girl screaming in happiness to see another kid in the playground.

  6. Debbie, how fun! I can picture you running after the chickens, Beli does the same thing when we visit her great-grandparents.
    I used to play with my cousins with marbles and TAG was our favorite, but I'm not familiar with "double dutch", I will have to google that.

  7. OH Pim, it sounds like you are truly happy. There's nothing better than recreating your childhood and that's what you are doing. Now if you could only own a horse, I would come and visit everyday!!!

  8. Kaho, Its very true, I would never put Beli on a city bus Alone and send off to school across town. My mom used to do that with my sisters and I when we lived in Mexico. But now times are different, supervision is required, I agree.

    What a neat experience for your kids to be living overseas. learning about other cultures. And I agree Nature and imagination are the best toys for kids.

  9. I am sure I spent my entire childhood outside. My parents were constantly dragging me out of lakes, from trees and from not-yet-harvested fields.
    But once I turned teenager I was just like my daughter now, only that I have in my room reading books, whilst she is on Facebook....

  10. Dear Elisa, I came across your lovely blog by chance (or maybe having word Croatia in the title helped).
    It so lovely seeing you enjoy beauty and simplicity of Croatia which is slowly disapearing in the western world.
    I am Croatian but live in England, and I raise my son bilingually (sadly he answers back only in English,we do not have anybody else who can speak Croatian with him,and he knows I understand English...).
    I remeber my childhood well, all the children from hise rise building would meet after school and play games until it was dark,I remeber my Mum shouting from the balcony that it was the time I (finally) came

    I have recommended your blog to some of my friends on Facebook, really lovely blog.

  11. Ulrike,
    So you were just like me, climbing trees!

  12. Zvrk,

    Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you found this blog and thank you for the recommendation. You know as a teenager I would do the same thing, my parents would speak to us in Spanish at home, that was their rule (to speak only in spanish) but we found it easier to reply in English (as English was all around us) But they were persistent and I'm grateful for that because now I have the opportunity to speak Spanish with my daughter. So don't stop exposing your son to Croatian. When he is older (adult) I think he would appreciate being bilingual!


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