These kids are wading in my same canal, but under the watchful eye of several parents. During my youth, our mothers kicked us out of the house early in the morning and told us to stay out until lunch. Then we would stay out all afternoon, too. I remember the signal when to come in was when we started hearing the neighborhood parents calling for their kids. It could be very embarrassing for kids to be called by their pet names like "Sweetie," or "Honey Bear." My dad just whistled for us and we came a running even if we were many blocks away.
Yesterday I took a walk down memory lane -- literally. When I was very young, our family lived next to an irrigation canal. The houses near us got rights on certain summer days to open the little gates to allow water to run from the canal down the hill and onto our gardens and lawns. During the summers, us kids played along the canal bank. We floated little boats, chased the water skeeters, lost our flip flops, and sometimes dammed up the wide place so we could swim. The most fun was swinging across the water and dropping in from our Tarzan swing.
Well, I hadn't visited that canal path in many, many years. I knew that changes had been made, but until yesterday, I didn't know how it had changed. The once rustic and natural canal with a dirt trail has been remodeled into a classic, upscale jogging path complete with police call boxes every few yards. It is beautiful! But it has nearly erased the precious memories of my youth. So, I decided to write a new series of stories documenting some of those cherished moments. (My girls get worried, though, when I tell their children what a feral life I led in my youth.)
So whether my daughters appreciate it or not, I intend to write some stories for my grandchildren about what a fun and free-spirited life I led as a child. Oh, how I wish that more children could know that kind of freedom for exploration.
My name is Betsy Bailey. I have sung, written and taught music all of my life. I enjoy writing and directing Children's Theater shows. This blog will be directed to topics on creating the magic of Children's Theater. I would love to hear your comments!