I don’t remember too much from my childhood – that happens as you creep into your mid 40s, however one of the fondest (you also say fondest when you’re creeping into your mid 40s) memories involves playing in the street with the other kids. I was in grade 2 when I moved from Carnegie to Ormond yet I still remember Shane and Lisa from my old street in Carnegie – and how much fun and freedom we had just to play. While my mum and dad weren’t particularly social, I vaguely recall that one of the families from that Carnegie street moved away and we once went to their new house for a party and we either stayed the night or stayed very late and ran around like mad people and it was such FUN, though one small child threw up on me – too much excitement and lollies I think!!
Our house in Ormond was one of six houses, yet three of them had kids and we’d be at each other’s houses all the time – or playing in the street with our skateboards and bikes or playing cricket. Unfortunately living at the granny pad doesn’t allow for our kids to play in the street with others, because, aside from one little girl who is about 4 or 5 (who we never see) there are no others! I make up for this by organising for their friends to come over and play or they invite themselves over to their friend’s houses! I also do a bit of socialising after school with the other mums who I’ve formed friendships with.
Which brings me to the long weekend which has just past. We were invited by the Andersen family to join them at Sandy Point. The shack at Sandy Point is very basic and we park our Jayco Swan in the front yard and sleep in it. The Andersen family comprises of Ando, Fiona and their 3 boys who are nearly 7, 5 and 3. It was a weekend full of noise, beach walks, unstructured play, climbing of tea trees, plenty of food, fishing (nope, nothing) and most important of all, fun. These are the memories which I believe will stay with my kids. Not the one hour a day they were allowed to play their electronic games but the rest of the hours they were up and about. Aside from a couple of niggles, the kids got along really well and the parents had a blast. I forgot how much Ando and Fiona make me laugh!
Anthony has the same memories: of playing with his brothers and sister and also mucking around with his mates around the streets of Beaumaris. I’m a firm believer that our kids won’t remember too much of the STUFF they have, but the friendships formed (and probably lost), the unstructured freedom of simply mucking around with their mates and weekends and holidays away in the Jayco Swan will have an enduring memory.