A Good Sign

October 25, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

My neighbourhood amazes me. Summer or winter for about six houses either way from my place is a hive of street activity. As seasons pass one to another so do the games played on the street. Hockey pretty well rules the winter but come spring basketball blends in as the snow melts and they both live on into summer when hockey dies off and is replaced by skateboards, scooters and bikes. As the first nip of fall bites our nose hairs, there is a brief football tossing period but then hockey makes its comeback and rules again. Funny, there isn’t much baseball; maybe too many broken windows.

While the shouts, shrieks and smacks of children playing in the street are annoying to some I’m impressed that these kids are out exercising rather than planted in front of a TV or monitor. As I think of all the kids who people the road, I can’t picture one pudgy one among them. Good for them, may they always be looking to spend time outdoors doing something and infusing their lungs with fresh air.

I was sitting in my ‘office’ last week when a movement outside caught my eye. One of the young street kids was streaking up the road, hell bent for election, chasing a ball. Obviously the ball had escaped their hockey game and I remembered chasing similar balls when I was young. I watched this young lad giving it all he had and imagined what was in his mind: ‘Gotta get this quick so we can get back to the game’ plus a dash of ‘It’s up to me to get this’ and maybe a dab of ‘I bet the guys are impressed with my speed’. I pictured this same kid at soccer with the coach yelling to run down the field as fast as possible. Everyone would give about 80 percent maximum, yet with no outside pressure this kid was giving 110 percent; just for his buddies.

Ya know; kids just might turn out OK. We parents let them get porky and lazy by allowing schools to take away physical education then let our kids plunk in front of a screen and munch garbage after school snacks. As phys-ed works its way back into schools and kids get into better shape maybe parents will also insist on some outside time before supper each day. As the kids discover physical interaction again and find that falling down isn’t the end of the world and getting accidentally hit with a ball isn’t life threatening, we may raise a new generation of kids who aren’t afraid of going out because they may fall down. Maybe parents will even find they don’t need to arm their kids with elbow pads, knees pads, helmets, goggles, shin pads and gloves to be outside. Kids will learn to tuck and roll when they fall and duck when a ball comes at their melon. When this happens remember: it started in my neighbourhood.


© David Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011


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