pjhawks wrote:we organized and officiated our own games, settled our own disputes during said games..capture the flag, kick the can, wiffle ball, basketball, street hockey, etc. we didn't have play dates, we called, knocked on doors or just went outside and met up with the other neighborhood kids.
our parents didn't know or need to know where we were every second of every day. we went and said we'd be back later...and we came back later.
I was talking to some Australian friends about this when we were all in Dublin last month. They couldn't believe that it was still light outside at 9.30 at night. I told them that when I was growing up in Wales every evening was the same: home from school, quickly throw some dinner down, then grab your BMX (no helmet of course) and head outside.
My parents' only real rule was "Be back before it gets dark" which was usually around 9.30/10pm. We didn't have mobile phones and I never wore a watch so they had no way of knowing where we were as we hadn't really made any plans. We just went from friend's house to friend's house until we decided what we wanted to do. Sometimes we didn't even know all of the people we were hanging out with, we'd start a football game in the park and people would just join in.
I know I won't be able to give my kids the same freedom. Partly because society is more dangerous and playgrounds are more like hunting grounds, and partly because if I send them outside to play they'll be the only ones there!
Damn I feel old.