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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Grade school bans tag, other games - Education - MSNBC.com
I don't know if I can even write about this one, it pains me so much.
Just the other day, I was chatting with someone about games we used to play as kids. Duck Duck Goose had been mentioned; parents didn't play much with kids back then, but I remember my dad teaching us kids to play that one in the backyard one summer evening. Hide and Seek was big, as was Ghost In the Graveyard. Kickball and softball of course.
But I would say our staple game was tag, in its many permutations. We loved freeze tag, for some reason; maybe the challenge of staying still for an indeterminate amount of time, especially if you were the first unlucky soul tagged. But just plain old tag was our favorite; we played for hours, through long summer days and nights in the quiet Fitchville countryside, and, also at school, where the same games were enjoyed, and others like Red Rover and Crack the Whip, which needed a few more players to be effective.
Who knew these were contact sports? And that kids should be protected from the accidents that inevitably occur during their playing? Not our parents.
Now, I think: How beat up we must have appeared, in our younger years! NOT by abuse, for goodness' sake ... but by our games. Skinned knees from jumping rope. Bruises from falling off the swingset. Cuts on our legs from the weedy, prickly 'way-backyard, as we ran through it to hide. Why was no one protecting us? Because no one gave it a thought. You played, you got hurt, you got a bandaid, and went right back at it.
What kind of grownups are we raising, that must be protected from the games kids play?

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