County Spaces

I don't know much about how kids are relating to each other on gender issues now, 41 years ago there was still a lot of ingrained ideas about what gender did which things. I was never happy when I was excluded because I was a girl. In fact, I was down right cranky about it!

I could (can and still do) bat a ball where there was no one to catch it, catch a football, run, dodge and make a touch down, throw a softball from 1st to 2nd base, run, ride my bike, fish, climb a tree and anything else as good some boys. Not better than ALL boys but better than some. I didn't need to be the best, I just wanted to play. I would get really frustrated that I had to prove it over again every time a new boy joined a group.

I'd like to think that people realize now that anybody can do any thing any other body can do within the limits of their physical and mental abilities. It's your size, build, training and desire that "measure" you, not your sex, color or anything else.

Back then there was too much I was not encouraged to do "because I was a girl" that I really wanted to do. I REALLY wanted to be an astronaut. Enjoying sex in my teens left me with children before I ever got to see if I could be one. (Note to young females - there are many careers you can not do with a child to take care of - BECAREFUL or don't dream)

As I couldn't be an astronaut I have had hopes one of the grands would get off the planet. So far no takers.

We used to play a lot of games with our Uncle Arr. One of our favorites was "Drunken Astronaut" We would all climb up in the big tree at Grama and Grampa's house. Uncle Arr would go first and crawl way out on a large but flexible branch. We would climb up behind him and clamp on in a row behind him.

Lacking seat belts and oxygen masks we would immediately "Blast OFF!" for space. The branch would start shaking and bouncing and we would all hang on for dear life as the "pilot" got us past the moon and the inner planets and head for Mars.

But then, oh woe! The pilot became inebriated! Then the rocket would veer from one side to the other as he tipped waaayy to the left, recovered, slipped upside down, flipped back up, and just in general flopped all over instead of driving.

The last time we played we were all wrapped around the branch like hot dog buns with limbs when the pilot got to his feet and mis stepped on purpose to come down with all his weight on the branch to set it REALLY bouncing up and down.

It gave one lurch as his skinny butt dropped on it with all his weight but didn't recover.

CRACCCCKKKK! Five kids screaming and the ripping of the limb from the tree brought my Grampa running out from the barn. He got there just after the last flight to Mars landed in a shrieking, freaking heap under the tree.

Some of us had the wind knocked out of us momentairialy but when we could breathe again we were still laughing. What a ride! What a landing!

Grampa had more of a fit because we broke "his" tree than because we fell and could have been killed or broken. He chased us into the house where Grama made sure we KNEW we could have been killed and Uncle Arr had his seat of education warmed because he was the oldest and should have known better.

The tree was cut into firewood for the brick bbq stove in the back and we piled it up while Grampa chopped as punishment. There were no more games of Drunken Astronaut - there were no branches big enough for all of us to fit on. That must be how childhood ends....you run out of places you fit in to play on as you get bigger so eventually you become a non playing adult because all the things that were fun were dangerous and NOW you know better.

Comments: 2 Comments:
At 4/7/05 9:33 PM, Blogger Madzillah said...

I thnk I may lack the "now I know better" gene.

At 5/7/05 2:27 AM, Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo said...

I hope so! It takes a lot of the fun out of life.


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