Child Explorations

…Our parents were never around. They were too busy making a living. And they were happy and relieved to leave us to our own devices.  And we were happy that they did for that park bore the limits to our huge and timeless imagination and universe of fun.  My first serious crush manifested itself in that park.  No doubt a park volunteer, a summer counsellor of some sort.  Probably sixteen.  I think I was three. Funny that, but the age difference didn’t seem to bother me or anyone else at the time.  I followed her everywhere, even with a shit load in my summer shorts. I am sure that they, the grownups, thought that that was sweet but I had other canorous thoughts on my young and feeble mind.  Today that girl, if she is still alive, would be in her late 70s.  Yikes!

Funny why kids cannot and will not do what is expected of them.  I am convinced that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.  It’s ingrained in their psyche, in their young DNA. To do the very opposite of what is expected, acceptable and piss off the parents.  It’s called exploration, finding our way, for as kids we were all Lewis and Clarks, Radishes and Gooseberries – LaSalle, “Tin Tin,” or DiCrapio. I remember when wifey and I bought a contraption for our twins called a “Jungle Jim,” or as it is affectionately known in suburbia as a suburban, backyard torture chamber for kids or for those fathers unfortunate enough to have to put the damn thing together.  And all I could hear that Saturday morning – and afternoon – were the cursed remarks floating wirelessly to my sensitive ears coming across over the various fences of our neighbourhood yards. And so, after many hours, this plumber’s nightmare finally took shape. Finished, proud and turning the keys over to my four year old twins, I watched them from a safe distance but out of sight. To my chagrin, to my horror, but not terribly surprised, they immediately began climbing all over the damn thing.  Forget the swings, forget the slide, and forget about the double see-saw with the cold bright yellow metal seats. Their goal was to check this thing out; explore their environment and see how this contraption was put together.  Inquisitive and enquiring minds these youngsters! Sure enough, one of them fell from the top cross bar onto the grass below. Getting up, brushing himself off, he looked around at nothing really then at himself then at his twin brother, in silence and in shock. After what seemed to be an interminable amount of time all hell broke loose:  screaming, wailing, crying and the gnashing of teeth.  Oh the horror of it all. Dante’s inferno! Then looking around as if lost and in a panic for where the hell was mom?

Where the hell was mom indeed?…