It rained about three inches in a short period of time on Springfield’s west side on Wednesday. When it rains that much that fast, the little creek in my backyard floods and the water moves very swiftly down the length of three or four backyards in my neighborhood. Sometimes the water moves so fast it carries a few of my fake animals downstream to a neighbors’ yard.
Well, this particular day, the neighborhood kids were ready for the river in our backyards. They brought inflatable rafts! These kids range in age from about 4 or 5 at the low end to about 12 at the high end. These kids had a blast “white water rafting” in our neighborhood…that is until the rain subsided and the water receded.
The point of the above story is that the kids were out playing after school. Most days when I drive into the neighborhood there are kids on bikes, or playing wiffle ball, or shooting baskets, or on skateboards, or are playing soccer in the yard. Wait! This is not 1973, this is now and kids are outside playing. I love the parents in our neighborhood who encourage their children to be outside after school until the sun goes down.
In this age of electronics and social media it is refreshing to see kids with sidewalk chalk and flying kites. Now, I am not an anti-gaming, anti-social media, anti Youtube dude. I believe these forms of entertainment and communication have a legitimate spot at the appropriate developmental stages. However, I am also a huge proponent of physical exercise and kids socializing with one another. It’s called playing outside. Can you imagine the memories those kids will have of white water rafting in the backyard?