I emailed the link to the video to Adam and he replied thusly:
Perhaps we could do all at the same time, I have an old laptop. We could
give them a pocket knife they could use it to disassemble the laptop while
it is on fire and ripping music, in the passenger seat of the MPV…..
See? Fun for all the family 🙂
Seriously though, when I was watching the video it was brought home to me with some force that there is a whole bunch of experiences that I had growing up which our kids haven’t had nearly as much exposure to and I reckon it’s time we did something about that.
Let’s see how my childhood measured up against the list of things Gever talked about.
- Play with fire – we went camping multiple times a year when I was growing up and we very often had an open camp fire. Building the fire, feeding it as it burned down, cooking our own twist bread (we used a damper recipe for the dough) on sticks over the coals, no doubt giving my parents heart failure at every turn…good times.
- Own a pocket knife – I must admit the actual owning of a pocket knife came a little later in my teen years but I seem to remember that before the one that belonged to me there was one I’d pinched from my dad.
- Throw a spear – hmmm. We certainly played with sticks quite a bit. And there was plenty of throwing of rocks either off bush ledges or skimming on water. It’s different to throwing a ball I think, finding something on the ground, feeling its heft in your hand, estimating how it will travel through the air. Javelin throwing, I’ve done that too, but I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen till high school. Fun though.
- Deconstruct appliances – Yep, definitely used to do this. When something stopped working I would pull it apart, fiddle with it and then put it back together again. Sometimes it would even begin working again. We used to have an ancient and unreliable tape player that would, every so often, eat my tapes. When that happened I would calmly stop the player and grab a screwdriver. Seeing as I remember the tape this happened to most often being the sound track to the Robin Hood movie I’m pretty sure I was fairly young when I began doing this.
- Break the DMCA – well, I was a dab hand at making tape copies of vinyl records, and recording songs from the radio, that was an exercise in intense concentration and required devoting vast amounts of time to sitting with finger poised over the record button listening for the first note of the song you were waiting for to begin playing, kids these days don’t know how good they’ve got it!
- Drive a car – did this on a Scripture Union camp when I was, I think, about 12 years old. Also sprained my ankle on that camp, rode a horse bareback (not connected) and chased a lot of mice (it was during a mouse plague and we were camping out in sheep country).
That was fun, I don’t often think about my childhood and I don’t have a huge number of clear memories from when I was young but it’s interesting to me that thinking about these things brought up some of my favourite memories. Things that involved being independent, exploring the world, figuring stuff out for myself. Things like pretending to be Ned Kelly in the bush with my cousins when we were camping at Megalong Valley (that’s the rock throwing one – the mind boggles!), blunting the blade of a pocket knife in the quest for a perfect twist bread stick, lying on a grassy slope in the camping ground at Bundanoon at night looking at the stars with my Grandad’s binoculars (ok, they didn’t really make any difference in what we could see but that wasn’t the point), falling in the creek fully clothed in the middle of winter at Megalong Valley, rummaging through my Grandad’s tools (he’d been a builder by trade) – which Dad had inherited and were sitting largely unused in our garage – to find what I needed to fix or make something. There’s more of course but I shan’t drag you any further down memory lane just now.
Time to get ourselves sorted and with our Huscarls kit and get along to one of their camps, there ought to be plenty of these sorts of experiences to be had there, apparently it is standard practice for the kids to all bugger off after breakfast and not be seen again till dinner time. Adam is sewing authentic type clothing for the kids as I type and there is leather working stuff strewn all over the coffee table, he’s been making belt pouches for everyone. We’re making progress…ok he’s making progress, I’m just making supportive noises from the lounge.
Blue milk’s post was actually about parenting styles and whether or not we are the parent we want to be. I guess I’d have to say yes, I am. I’m not perfect, no where near in point of fact, but I reckon I’m doing an ok job most of the time And I’m me, not someone else. I don’t want to be anyone else. I lean more towards the slow parenting model rather than that of hyper-parenting (wouldn’t have the energy for that :P), I’m fairly relaxed, I prefer to let my kids amuse themselves, I want to foster independence in my kids –
“Muuum, can I have breakfast?”
“Certainly, feel free to help yourself, and while you’re at it put the kettle on and make me a cup of tea”
– or maybe I mean servitude, it’s hard to tell. LOL There are things I’d like to do a bit better or a bit different but on the whole it seems to be working so I guess if it ain’t broke….