Today, I remember the children of another era. I remember the brave souls who risked their limbs to cuts and scrapes. The adventurous and agile among us who ran to recover our sole reason for being. Those who braved farmers’ shotguns and poison ivy, and what other dangers laid beyond the fence.
I remember the elementary school heroes who climbed under the fence, while their comrades held the links safely above, in order to save that soccer ball that was kicked over, just moments before.
I remember the summer camp juggernauts who climbed into the giant bush behind the shed to save the numerous tennis balls lost during many games of wall ball. And the acrobats who sometimes climbed onto the shed to save the balls lost in the gutter.
I remember the sprinters and jumpers who ran into farms to save that kickball or gaga ball, even when that pickup truck was on the horizon.
There are many stories like these. We each bear the scars from those blacktop scrapes, those chain link cuts, those broken bones and poison ivy burns. But those stories are disappearing. Kids are no longer braving the elements to get that last game in before their parents come to pick them up. They no longer chase each other around the playground, but rather sit and stare at screens. We must pick up the fight. We need to show them how to play again.
We must show them the ways… of the playground heroes.