Cow Belle: Children, Yesterday and TodayWhen I see those clumps of brown “rag weed” in the ditches along the roadsides, it makes me believe that autumn is almost here.
By: Ina Murray, columnist, Pierce County Herald
When I see those clumps of brown “rag weed” in the ditches along the roadsides, it makes me believe that autumn is almost here.
The ripened ragweed reminds me of long years past when my friends and I were little girls and “played house.” We would strip those brown clumps and use it to make pretend coffee, to go along with the mud pies we decorated with wild flowers.
Sometimes I feel bad that the kids in today’s world miss out on all those “make believe” pastimes we enjoyed. Back then, we girls played with dolls until we were almost 12-years-old. (I sure think it’s been a long, long time since Chloe played with dolls, if she ever did.) I know my daughter Beth never did like to play with dolls. Do little girls ever play with dolls any longer?
Some other things we did was “play store.” We would carefully save all the empty cereal boxes, oatmeal boxes, coffee cans, etc., to use in our store. If we didn’t have play money, we would make some with paper and crayons.
Sometimes we would play school, one being the teacher who would read to the other children, or assign some kind of lesson. She would hang things on the wall, and always used a “pointer.”
And church, one would be the pastor, and lead the singing from old tattered hymn books. (Which, by the way, were small, black covered song books.) The pastor would even baptize dolls and sometimes dressed up cats. Weddings would take place with the little bride adorned with an old sheer curtain for a veil. I remember that it would be hard to coax any of the boys to be the groom!
In our present day, a lot of kids spend time wearing head phones, listening to what I loosely call “music.” Or they use their thumbs playing whatever kind of electronic game they have.
But time refuses to stand still, and the children of today are probably a lot smarter than we were because they learn to do so many more things than we did. For instance, I was in my late 70’s before I learned to use a computer (and am still learning), while now little children learn it quickly. It must be easier to learn while so young, rather than when we are “old in the tooth,” and the old brain is slowing down.
It’s foolish to hanker for the “good old days.” I’m sure they weren’t any better than they are now. Everything moves so much faster now and it really is a lot more interesting!
Life is pretty fascinating at any age!
To all “armchair” critics out there: I don’t take offense when a reader points out errors in my column, especially when they aren’t snotty about it. I have made errors in the past, and I’m sure I will continue to do so. Just forgive me, and carry on with your life?