Under the Light



Remember when we were kids? Especially city kids, when staying out until dark. Mom would say, “When the street lights come on, it’s time to come in”. We would fight all the way to the back door because we wanted to stay outside and play.

Freeze tag, regular tag, hide and seek; these were some of my favorite evening games. All the neighborhood kids and cousins made great teammates. What I wouldn’t give to be able to run like I used to. I could fall down and jump right back up, brush myself off, and go at it again.

Remember Red Rover, red rover, send someone right over? It makes me smile as I go back and visit in those days. No worries, no illness, no knowledge about death or sorrow. Innocence was our middle name. In my days, there was no talk about child molestation, murders, robberies, and if these things happened, adults didn’t discuss them around us.

Today, many kids know about such things. There are some good things about it. They are made ready for different circumstances. Tell an adult if someone touches you in a private place. Tell a teacher or the principal if you are in fear at home.

When I was a kid, the thing I remember is, Don’t get into cars with strangers and don’t accept candy from strangers. Life has certainly changed; but has it really? Weren’t those things going on when I was young; but kept quiet? Kids are safer today, because they are made aware of the dangers that can happen.

Some things don’t change though for sure. Playing tag under the street lights. Fighting to have to come in the house at dark, because you know you will have to take a bath and get ready for bed. Playing with the neighbor kids and cousins.

Life is still good isn’t it? It needs to stay that way. Kids need to be able to be kids. They have to have the opportunities to build those same great memories that I have today.

Photo taken by Terry Shepherd