23. Being a Kid is Great
Things that make being a kid great:
Cartoons are a child’s god. Every kid had their favorites (….Hey Arnold!….Rugrats….Rocket Power…) and by the time you were a teenager, you had seen every episode, realistically, at least 15 times. Some spark certain memories, par exemple, I would get up really early (when it was still dark out!) with my brother because he’d watch Pokemon before school (or sometime’s Pee Wee’s Playhouse). I did this until he got older and started watching ESPN SportsCenter. Lame.
Not understanding the “adult humor” hidden in kids movies
It’s actually sad, the day you begin to understand the hidden meanings in movies. You’re losing a part of your innocence. I remember Shrek being one of the first movies where I began to get some of the adult humor in it. Not all, but some. And I’m pretty sure the jokes I didn’t understand, I would act like I did because that was the cool thing to do. But, not understanding those jokes as a kid is a nice perk of being young.
The paper menu & crayons you received at restaurants
Restaurants are smart. If you occupy the kids, the parents are calmer and inclined to stay longer and buy more food. But, those paper menus to kids were heavenly activity booklets that also happened to contain delicious selections of gourmet chicken fingers, grilled cheese sandwiches, or the ever-famous cheese pizza. There were word jumbles and seek&find pictures and mazes (which were frankly, always too easy).
Wearing Velcro shoes
…and not being ironic about it. I think Velcro shoes just helped our adolescent laziness develop sooner. But that’s okay with me. They are still great.
As a kid, you are able to occupy yourself with this wonderful invention for hours. If that’s not a great toy, I don’t know what is. There used to be this big concrete slab (I guess you’d call it) behind my garage growing up and I would sit on the grass and then draw place settings on it along with food. It was a makeshift table with chalk food outside. What’s cooler than that?
Playing with friends ALL day.
You could spend the entire sunlit hours with your friend, then do it everyday after and never get annoyed with them. That is until hormones start making you all angsty and whatnot. But, that was the best way to spend a day- running around outside, swinging, playing detectives, or creating a restaurant (As I grew older, my restaurant got a name: Rumors. Equipped with menus and everything). Simply playing and never getting bored of playing- that’s something wonderful about being a kid.
When kids would go to the pool to actually swim
That still is my only reason to go to the pool today. To hell with all that “laying out” & tanning stuff. Lame. I was always that kid at the local pool that sat on the edge with my feet dangling in the water during Adult Swim (those agonizing 15 minutes that lasted years), ready to somersault in as soon as the whistle blew. (Well either that, or I’d use the time to buy Air Heads or Ring Pops at the concession stand, but you had to get there right away or the line would be way too long. I knew all the tricks and worked the system, even in 3rd grade–remember, I’m a foodie– and from a young age too aparently). Also, to make your swimming experience absolutely top-notch, you couldn’t forget to bring diving sticks or coins to fetch from the bottom of the pool. So great.
Thinking the opposite gender is icky
Everyone was simply friends and it was all much easier.
Parties at school
The entire day, no one would get anything done. Everyone was just so excited and spent the entire day anticipating the party that nothing ever got done. I’m pretty sure teachers would plan nothing else too important those days, because they just knew absolutely nothing productive would happen. Whether it was a holiday party, end-of-the year party (which clearly was the best), or a reward-for-being-good party, those were the days that made elementary school awesome.
Not caring about clothes
I am one who dislikes fashion, but I still fall victim to society and I get caught up in deciding what to wear. This did not matter as a kid. Heck, you rarely even had to look ‘presentable’. As long as you had something on, that was good enough. I like that. Kids are minimalists in that way. As long as it isn’t uncomfortable, constraining, or gave you lots of wedgies, you were golden and life was fine.
As a kid, this week you spent with your was the best week you’d have all year. Going to the beach or Disneyworld or Niagra Falls was the best thing ever. Of course, a fun and important part about vacations, to kids, is picking out the perfect souvenirs to bring home. You had to find the best key chain or playing cards. I remember many a nights, putt-putting after a day at the beach or a trip to a sweet museum. Doing those silly things on vacation are the best. Side note: I was the queen of having a “busy bag” as we liked to call it. It’s that extra backpack you bring with you in the car that has all your essentials for a long car ride: Gameboy (equipped with extra batteries, of course), coloring books & crayons, maybe markers or colored pencils too, because hey, you never know what you may need, word searches, books, portable CD player!!, and blank notebooks with plenty of pens and pencils for nonsensical doodling.
These forts could be anywhere. Outside in the woods or inside the house. I was notorious for removing all the couch cushions and constructing forts out of them and sitting in them and watching TV. Or putting draping lots of blankets over the sides of dining room table and having a club in there. I thought it was really really cool…and I still do.
There are millions of other amazing things about being a kid, so I’ll save some more for another day. Stay young!
P.S. This post is dedicated to really cool kid toys like the Skip-it, Tamagotchi, Beanie Babies, Polly Pockets, and Furbies.
Over & Out
Currently listening to: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes- Home (Whole-Z Remix) !!