Although not as cool as the summer of ’69, courtesy of Bryan Adams, it was nonetheless an important era in history. Today is my brother’s birthday, his 32nd birthday in fact. Four years my senior and I somehow managed to pave the way for him to live in sin with his girlfirend, get married outside the church, and have a baby whose name is not Joe or Mary. You’re welcome Shaun!
In just a few short months he’ll become a first time parent. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how we went from kids having a squirt gun war and staying up late to listen to try to record Mr. Boombastic on a cassette to each being responsible for another human life. It makes me recall the childhood antics we pulled; Hot Box, Capture the Flag, Hand Hockey, Snow Football.
We were a very creative bunch of youngsters. We invented a couple of our own unique games to play. One of our favorites was dubbed Human sacrifice. Always played in my Uncle’s pool, we’d form a permieter along the edge and our job was to keep the ball in play for as long as possible, performing as many death defying leaps as needed so that the ball never actually touched water. In accordance with the rules, you were required to scream out H.S. each time you lept to your doom to save the ball.
Inevitably, when we had family get togethers, one of my cousins would get put on the couch in a timeout zone. Not allowed to get down from the couch and feeling for the neglected prisoner, the game of Turtle was born. The rest of us would buddy up on the couch, while one person would remain in the middle of the living room floor, taking up their hands and knees; they became the Turtle. It was up to the Turtle to get as close to his constituents as possible without getting smacked. We were very safety conscious.
Then there were the times where we tried to deter my Uncle from picking up my cousin after my mom had babysat him all day. We’d set booby traps in the yard with hot pink jump ropes and Frisbee’s that would magically turn into landmines if stepped on. Or my favorite time…when we tried to dig a whole in the yard so that my Uncle would step into it and twist his ankle; all but destroying his plans of capturing my cousin. That plan was thwarted when my mom found us digging up her yard. We narrowly escaped a shovel beating that day.
It’s a strange transformation when you become the ones to say “If you two don’t stop bickering I’m going to drive this car off the first cliff I come to”. I can just imagine what our kids will conjure up when they play together. I only hope they are as creative as we were.