Today’s post is inspired by reminiscing on lunchtime and fun time, and also brought to you by the letter ‘K’, just kidding about the K, focus. Let me take you back to somewhere between 1988 and 1991. Picture it: an elementary school, Canada, a very small town, and a coal-miner’s daughter (one of three). I was either in grade 2 or 3, I’m not exactly sure, possibly during both of those years for these memories.
The only things I remember vividly are the excitement of seeing the prize tally and the exhilaration of the run back to school in my own race to beat the clock. I’m talking about the show ‘Fun House’ which I watched at lunchtime during school days.
I lived very close to my elementary school, it was practically in my backyard, and I went home for lunch everyday. The show was perfectly timed for my lunch hour. I had to be back in school for 1:00. The show technically finished at 12:55 in order to see the prize results, which is all I cared about, before the final sponsor acknowledgments and credits rolled. On the show, in order to finish the competition, which consisted of various games, the two teams had to run the Fun House race. The race was a brief obstacle course and then the winning team got to run in the actual Fun House which was a larger obstacle course, where you tried to win prizes from each station. The whole thing was like a kids version of the show Wipeout, sort of.
I only had to run through my back yard, across a field/combination of two other back yards, down a hill, along a short service driveway, quickly cross a street and Bam! I was back in the school yard. I could do this in under 5 min easily. It was my 100 or so meter dash. It made me feel so cool and little-kid-powerful that I could get to see the end of the show before being back in class for the afternoon. It was like knowing who won the Fun House was some kind of special privilege. Not everyone got to go home for lunch and especially not watch TV. I don’t remember ever discussing the winner and the prizes with anyone… I must have though. Or was this knowledge just so important to me alone that I didn’t need to bother sharing it? It was cool enough for just me to know maybe.
Whether I actually talked about the show results with anyone obviously didn’t matter as much as the dash back to school. I remember the high of that short run. When I think of it now I swear I can feel the wind in my hair and I’m just running, full-tilt through the grass and down that hill, flying along and jumping over a fallen fence. I probably thought it was like the Fun House obstacle course with the varied terrain and time pressure, a race against the clock to beat the school bell.
Being that young and still having a vivid imagination I’m sure I made the experience into something amazing. And that right there is the point of this flashback. That sense of wonder that comes with being a kid. Along with having the imagination to make it magical, even if just for a few minutes. The amazing ability of kids to be able to make the absolute most of out their otherwise imprisoned and mundane day. Any free moment is a time to dream and play, to run wild and free. No pathway is ever just a place to walk, it’s a place to be on an adventure. Everything you see is mysterious and inspiring.
So I close this flashback by asking about your sense of wonder. Do you still have the ability to transport yourself to other plains with the sights and smells of everyday things and places? Are these superpowers of children that we are able to refine as we get older, or is it just a special privilege given to the young that we wear down with the repression of adult expectations over time?
Beverages for thought… Have a happy responsibly wild and free Friday!