During the summer months, my mom claimed that we ran in and out of the doors too much, which apparently irritated her quite a bit, because she would literally lock us out of the house. In those hours outside, we had to find something to do with our time, which usually wound up to be something crazy.
So, one day, we get the bright idea to fly down hill in the wagon...on concrete. Our driveway isn't necessarily steep, but you don't need much of a hill to get going fast on wheels on concrete. We would push the wagon a little ways up the driveway, get in and hope we didn't lose control of the little black handle before we hit the grass.
If anyone has ever decided to do such a thing, you know that steering a wagon, while in it, isn't the easiest thing to do. Going down a hill, at a high rate of speed, in a toy wagon with not much to protect you and not much of a steering wheel can make for a pretty rough ride, and even worse landing. Many days this particular activity kept us busy, even when we would get hurt from it, we decided it was too much fun to pass up. Besides, what else were we going to do with our time?
I recall coming away with several scrapes and bruises and I'm pretty sure my brother, being a lot smaller than myself at the time, managed a few connections with concrete as well. I believe he had it worse than I did, because he always seemed to go head first. I don't really remember whether it was from our extensive injuries that we decided to stop the downhill wagon adventures or if it was a demand from our parents. Or, we could have just grown out of it. But, looking back, I remember how much fun it was and thinking that there was no way I could do that again right now. I'm not sure that it would be possible anyway, because on the wagons today I don't see a way to actually use the handle as a steering device. They are all fixed. Possibly to keep kids in this day and age from doing stupid things like my brother and I used to do...
As children, we seem to have very little care in the world. We didn't think before our actions, we just did them. Whatever the outcome was, so be it. If we got hurt, we dusted ourselves off and did it again, or we learned a very valuable lesson and decided against doing something like that again. Either way, children don't seem to think about the consequences of their actions, they are just out to have fun. In some ways, this is good. In others, it can be bad. But I believe that's why children are so much more carefree and can truly have fun with their life.
Yet, as we get older, we lose that innocence and literally begin to think too much. I would love to go flying down that hill again in the old wagon, which I found out we still have, but I'm too nervous. Or scared, but I won't come out and say that directly. Much of that carefree way of life left me as I transitioned into high school, got a job and gained more responsibility. There was just rarely time for fun anymore. The other part of the time, I was too exhausted to move from my bed. It seems to have only drifted farther since then. A quote from Brian Aldiss couldn't have said it better, "When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults."
Now, my plan of action; how to get even an ounce of that carefree attitude back.