Monday, April 14, 2014

Hampshire Jersey

I stopped following the Free Range Kids blog because most of the stories were negative examples of why the world is going crazy, and while I very very much agree with the idea that kids should roam around and do stuff, I'd rather see examples of the positive.

A week or so ago I read (OK, skimmed) this article about "The Land" a kind of wild junkyard playground in North Wales.  The whole thing is strange and fascinating.  I'm drawn to things like this-stories about the trouble and adventures that kids used to have.  Kids love things like this-My Side of the Mountain, the first Boxcar Children book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, all of these are fantastic books about kids on their own.  Oh!  And Roxaboxen!

That's one of the reasons I don't go into Hampshire Jersey, the secret land the children are creating behind the chemical tanks in the cedar trees.   I'm sure there are lots of wonderful and dangerous things happening, and I choose to believe they're not REALLY that dangerous.  They haul old metal and bits of treasure from the junk piles and build things and have fights and compromise.   

Also whenever I go in there I get jabbed in the head with branches.  It's really just the right size for little people.  I had "The Shop", a place under a big tree in the back yard which I was constantly rearranging and changing into new things.  Some of my best childhood memories are from cleaning up the shop.  How about you?  Did you have a place to call your own?  Do your kids have one now?  Do you think I'm just asking for trouble?

1 comment:

dbilberry said...

I remember Sarah and I digging through the trash bin and setting up house in the irrigation ditch behind our house. We also took a shovel and dug steps and sitting holes in the side of the ditch. Good times! From trash to treasure in the eyes of a child.

I really want my kids to love being outside and having a place to play in our forest, but our forest is creeping with poison ivy which K is very allergic too. There is just too much of it to keep up with. If only I could find some kind of grass to grow in all that wooded shady area that would squeeze out the poison ivy.