At my feet is the round lawn sprinkler that would soon be linked to the hose. It looks as if I am demanding that my mother attach it right now so I could play. Now that summer is suggesting that it may just possibly arrive in New England, I am remembering the joys of running through the sprinkler.
In Western Oregon, there was never a lack of water, so we could play in the sprinklers as long as we wanted. One of them went around in a circle, and we could chase it. Another threw out a large arc and you could duck under the water for fun. For some reason, we never had one of those little wading pools, so we contented ourselves with sprinklers. No one I knew had an above ground pool, though one very wealthy neighbor had a full in ground pool with bathhouse. The water was never heated, however. In fact I don’t remember ever encountering a heated swimming pool until I was an adult.
A second badge of honor besides skinned knees as a kid was what we called “summer feet.” My siblings and I had a contest each summer to see who could get the toughest bottoms on our feet. We spent all summer barefoot, and it was important not to wince when stepping on a rock or twig. Eventually we would demonstrate our achievement by walking up our gravel driveway.
When they say kids can make up their own fun, I think of sprinklers and summer feet.