Sunday, August 30, 2009

Different Playgrounds

Many years ago I undertook a trip from Chicago, where I was visiting my son at Northwestern, to Ohio. It was a study in mankind. Perhaps the best way to explain this is by looking at the children. In Chicago, the children have streets and lakeside as their playgrounds. Parents ride on bikes with their children in downtown Chicago after dark. For the less fortunate, brown empty lots and cluttered streets, the only place to play with no trees for protection from the sweltering sun.

In Angola where my sister, June, lives, vintage houses sit on quiet streets with children runing from yard to yard. At country homes children play in the barn and run across the fields with their huge, black dog.

Finally, I arrived back in Darke County an my father's auctioned tools. Small, cherub-faced children...girls in long dresses wearing print bonnets. Boys in long pants with suspenders and brimmed, straw hats. Never have I seen such angelic faces, that seldom smile. Their playground? The chores they live by and the occasional cherished toy.

The children know what they know. Let's hope that they understand some day that each child has a different playground.
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