Life

Memories in the playground

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 photo credit: LaPrimaDonna via photopin cc

Last week at work, a colleague shared a shocking revelation. Well, shocking for me at least. Originally from India, she mentioned that she had never actually played outdoors when younger. And did not see the need for her daughters to play outdoors either.

Me, in all my glorious foot-in-mouth moments, couldn’t shut up of course. I was incredulous and asked about how she coped during childhood without playing outside. And made a few judgemental comments I suppose. But she seemed to think it was ok to just go outdoors to walk to and from school. And it’s ok for her daughters to go outdoors to the shops.

While another colleague talked about Vitamin D deficiency, I felt a bit sad at what she had missed out on. And her daughters were obviously going to be missing out on.

I remember when I was about 3 and in kindergarten and living in Bombay with my grandparents and mum during school term — we lived across the road from a park — my evenings were filled with playing on the swings and slides. Climbing the monkey bars. Sometimes with other kids. Sometimes on my own. I remember climbing trees with a friend from the same building to pick fruit and make up our own adventures.

At around 5, we moved to Salalah where I made more friends and spent my after-school hours riding my bike with others, playing soccer with the boys and one girlfriend, or even just playing hide and seek and with dirt. I would come home dirty or with battle scars from falling off my bike. Or a tree. Or having broken my glasses falling down face first off a slide.

My love for playing outdoors never really went away. As I grew older and we moved back to Bombay at 9, I continued to enjoy the outdoors. Sure, the environment was different as were the people. But I still rode my bike and explored. I still played hide-and-seek. We still played soccer in the rain. And cricket at other times. The main thing was to finish my homework and a bit of study and then get out of the house. I still remember how all the mums would have to start yelling around 7 for us to get back home in time for a shower and dinner. And the yelling back of “just 5 more minutes” from all of us. My hours of play decreased as school took up more time. But I made sure I went outdoors at least on weekends. I did this till I pretty much left India at 21. Yes, I played like a child till the age of 21. And I loved it.

It made me think back though to how fortunate I have been. I spoke to mum that weekend and thanked her and my dad for being the parents they were. After all, they could have been like my colleague’s parents who thought ‘girls don’t play’ and kept me indoors all the time. But they were not.

My love for the outdoors continues to this day. Just in different forms of course. If I ever have kids, you can bet they are going to have to be outdoors.

Because that’s where the adventure begins.

What about you? Do you have any memories from playing outdoors as a child? 

Do share! 

***Linking up with Grace for FYBF***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Raindrop
    15 November 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I played my heart out in the outdoors till I was 16. Cops and robbers, Hide and seek, hopscotch, cycling, badminton, tug of war, cricket and just running around like crazy 😀
    What fun it was! And the ‘5 more minutes’ resonated with me too!
    I can’t imagine not having to play outdoors. LIke you, I would also get judgmental on this topic.
    Raindrop recently posted…I wantMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Oh I played badminton too (but was so bad at it!) and hopscotch and other games…these are memories to cherish, aren’t they? Can’t imagine growing up without the outdoors…

  • Raindrop
    15 November 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I played my heart out in the outdoors till I was 16. Cops and robbers, Hide and seek, hopscotch, cycling, badminton, tug of war, cricket and just running around like crazy 😀
    What fun it was! And the ‘5 more minutes’ resonated with me too!
    I can’t imagine not having to play outdoors. LIke you, I would also get judgmental on this topic.
    Raindrop recently posted…I wantMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Oh I played badminton too (but was so bad at it!) and hopscotch and other games…these are memories to cherish, aren’t they? Can’t imagine growing up without the outdoors…

  • Viji Venu
    16 November 2013 at 8:50 am

    When I was young had a bunch of friends, around my same age who used to live close by. We used to gang up and play outside, climb trees and run like a minion battalion. As we grew older and civil, switched to batmindon and cricket. Out door is refreshing and I pity those population who miss it as they grow up.
    Viji Venu recently posted…Good-Bye FriendMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Sounds like an amazing time Viji and I totally agree with all you’ve said! There is much to be said about climbing trees… 😀

  • Viji Venu
    16 November 2013 at 8:50 am

    When I was young had a bunch of friends, around my same age who used to live close by. We used to gang up and play outside, climb trees and run like a minion battalion. As we grew older and civil, switched to batmindon and cricket. Out door is refreshing and I pity those population who miss it as they grow up.
    Viji Venu recently posted…Good-Bye FriendMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Sounds like an amazing time Viji and I totally agree with all you’ve said! There is much to be said about climbing trees… 😀

  • vishalbheeroo
    18 November 2013 at 12:35 am

    The kid didn’t realized what she missed. I play marbles, riding bike, sneaking out of the house to play football on the streets where we would place two stones for the goal post, climbed on litchi streets, played soldiers caught in war. It was beautiful:)
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…Letter Unsent-5: Neither Do I Forgive Nor ForgetMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Those memories certainly last a lifetime, don’t they Vishal? I do feel for this colleague of mine because she will never have these memories of what it is like to be carefree and play…

  • vishalbheeroo
    18 November 2013 at 12:35 am

    The kid didn’t realized what she missed. I play marbles, riding bike, sneaking out of the house to play football on the streets where we would place two stones for the goal post, climbed on litchi streets, played soldiers caught in war. It was beautiful:)
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…Letter Unsent-5: Neither Do I Forgive Nor ForgetMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Those memories certainly last a lifetime, don’t they Vishal? I do feel for this colleague of mine because she will never have these memories of what it is like to be carefree and play…

  • Chai a cup of life
    18 November 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I could not imagine a childhood without playing outdoors. I feel for your friends kids that are indoors..I would spend all day outside. Like how you played till you were 21!

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Tell me about it Amelia! I couldn’t believe that in spite of living close to a park here she won’t take her kids out. I bet though once they start school, they will be begging to go outdoors. You can’t not go outdoors here! There’s so much to explore!!!

  • Chai a cup of life
    18 November 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I could not imagine a childhood without playing outdoors. I feel for your friends kids that are indoors..I would spend all day outside. Like how you played till you were 21!

    • Psych Babbler
      18 November 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Tell me about it Amelia! I couldn’t believe that in spite of living close to a park here she won’t take her kids out. I bet though once they start school, they will be begging to go outdoors. You can’t not go outdoors here! There’s so much to explore!!!

  • Avada Kedavra
    20 November 2013 at 8:11 am

    Even I used to play outside when I was a kid. My mom had to come to the playground to take me home when it got dark. But I guess now the trend is changing, with children addicted to TV and video games.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Alaska trip 5 – FairbanksMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      20 November 2013 at 1:18 pm

      True Ava. I must say though it makes me happy to see kids in my building play outside especially when it’s daylight savings. They play cricket, tennis and soccer here… 🙂

  • Avada Kedavra
    20 November 2013 at 8:11 am

    Even I used to play outside when I was a kid. My mom had to come to the playground to take me home when it got dark. But I guess now the trend is changing, with children addicted to TV and video games.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Alaska trip 5 – FairbanksMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      20 November 2013 at 1:18 pm

      True Ava. I must say though it makes me happy to see kids in my building play outside especially when it’s daylight savings. They play cricket, tennis and soccer here… 🙂