Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I want them to want to...
My childhood was one of independence, there was not much that I was afraid of, there is not much I wouldn't do.
We didn't have a hell of a lot of toys, I mean, we had enough, but my parents were not easily sold on fads, especially if they were plastic.
I rode my bike around mainly, and I was always climbing things.... Often without shoes because it would give better grip.
This kind of play was not so much celebrated and encouraged in our family, as much as it was expected.
We had the kids studio, in which we would call the cubby in attempts to sound normal to all of the towns normal children, and dad had his studio, he could call that that whatever the hell he liked, it didn't matter much to me.
Dad's was not so much of a studio though, as a very large shed, made from recycled wooden car shipping containers, fashioned into a large shed, on piers, hand crafted by my uncle and my father, and according to them, If art and music were made in it, it was a studio.
Dad and his brother were both suitably pleased with their efforts on this studio, but to be honest... Council approved it was not.
My siblings and I would climb it anyway.
The roof was perilous.... We would walk it with no fear.
My father would periodically call out of the window to walk along the beams only, and also to avoid the very center.
We would walk on the beams, and we would avoid the very center.. Then we would jump off the side of the shed, into a large pile of lawn clippings.
We would give concerts on the top, the altitude giving the perfect amount of wind in our hair to make it feel like a slightly less lame Michael Bolton film clip.
Occasionally we would look around to see that Dad wasn't watching whilst we hung the get fucked finger at a neighboring boy who would ride his bike up and down the street teasing us for being hippies.
When the sun would go down dad would amble over to our game. He would indulge us with a few "Hey watch this Dad!" he did not flinch when we walked the perilous and clearly shoddily build roof, he would not get tense watching us navigate the many rusty nails, he did not blink an eye when we plunged off the side.
When it became apparent that we were jumping in a pile of lawn clippings though, that was a different story.
"have you been jumping in that bloody pile of lawn clippings?" he asked accusingly pointing a stern finger at the pile, never taking his eyes from us.
"yep" we replied proudly
"kids..." he began sternly... "Now you are going to be all itchy, and I'm going to have to bath you now aren't I?"
His tone suggested that it was not a question so much as a take a long hard look at yourself statement.
"You already had a bath now didn't you?" also not a question
"What do we know about being wasteful with water?"
He was clearly not as concerned about the dangers of playing 11ft in the air on life threatening workmanship as he was about water conservation.
Sometimes I wish I could be a more relaxed parent... Well maybe not that relaxed.. But a little more relaxed.
Sometimes.... I really want my kids to 'want' to climb things... That's all that's rattling around in my brain today.
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