We are often quick to say kids need to get out and play more (myself included) but sometimes that is harder than it appears. Think back to the time when you were a child..go on...it's okay to day dream for a minute. Okay, now that we all have a smile on our face, think about some of the places you used to play. Now ask yourself how many of these places are still available to your children? Not many, right?
This past weekend of Nemo dumping a mother-load of snow on us should have been met with the screams of children laughing and playing, but was it? In a moment of trying to recapture my childhood or perhaps a bit of cabin fever, I was going to go tubing! I quickly went to the shed to find some inflatable pool tubes, blew up a tire and was on my way. Albeit, a bit winded but ready to go nonetheless.
I made my way to the best hills I know in Kings Park which is at The Smithtown Landing Country Club. I was hoping that it wasn't too crowded as these hills used to be a haven for all to enjoy once the snow dropped. To my chagrin the hills were empty. Not a footprint in the snow where the children used to run, play and laugh. What has happened? Have we closed this playground to all children perhaps due to a twisted ankle and a lawsuit from someone years ago? Can we not supervise the hill and let the children enjoy? My search would continue.
In hopes of finding a hill I settled for a small but popular spot for Kings Parkers. The hill across from the Jewish Center off of 25A which is "the spot" for many once the driveway is passable. I arrived eager to join the children and as I finished my first run we heard the sirens of the local police.
This officer, perhaps watched one too many cop movies as he was on a mission to ruin everyone's day. RoboCop armed with ticket book in hand was yelling at parents to vacate the hill or he would start writing. This officer obviously had a unique childhood of being on the receiving end of many a wedgie as he was trying to "even the score". But who was he protecting? Who was he serving? Just his own ego and to him I say shame on you.
Sure there are plenty of distractions for our children to stay inside and tweet, Facebook, upload, download, hash tag, etc... but why make it that much harder for our kids to simply be kids? Let's be responsible and teach our kids that it is okay to play outside...the question just remains....where?