Times were different when I was a kid in the 60s. We played outside until dark, running around barefoot, even running across gravel driveways with ease. If you stepped on a thistle, you only did it once, because you made sure you remembered where it was so that you wouldnt do that again. When you got thirsty, you just turned on the hose and squirted water in your mouth. There was no need to go through all the trouble of going inside the house to get a glass of water. There wasn't time anyway. Usually you were in the middle of a game of hide 'n seek or red rover, red rover. Besides, your mom might see you and decide its time to come inside and get ready for bed.
We pulled the lights off the fireflies flying in the night air, and made rings on our fingers. It was sticky so it would stick to our skin. Then we'd hold our hands up and watch the blinking glow and then go back to playing. It grosses me out to think of that now. If we talked on the phone it was only to tell our friend to come over. We made doll houses out of cardboard boxes and poked holes in the lids of coffee cans for our pet insects, and we made tents with blankets thrown over the picnic table. Then wed sleep on another blanket underneath that makeshift tent, while the grass got wetter and wetter as the night went on. How in the world did we fit under a picnic table?
Mom would keep her bedroom window open so she could hear usand we probably kept her awake with our endless chatter and giggles. In all those attempts to make it through the night, I can only recall one morning waking up at dawn. Most of the time we ditched our tent and headed indoors to our nice soft and dry beds, scratching the mosquito bites as we sleepily made our way to our rooms.
Those were the days. Thank you Mom for making it all possible and allowing me to be a kid. I wasn't always the big sister, or the little mom. I was also a kid, and my mom knew that.