I love this time of year after because each passing day is a little bit longer, we get a little bit more daylight and I find myself happily holding onto the sun. That aspect of springtime—the sun lasting just that little bit longer with every passing day—always reminds me of being outside as a kid, getting to play outside a bit later every day because the sun seemed to stretch time.
I have two brothers and no sisters, so while I loved playing Barbies and "house," I also spent a lot of time outdoors playing street games and building forts. Building forts was one of my favourite things to do as a kid. Is there anything better than a fort? Seriously.
The preparation was always the best part. We'd spend an entire day planning out the logistics of how to create our tree fort or snow fort so that it could withstand iceballs/spies/sneak attacks. Yes, I realize a snow fort has nothing to do with the longer days of spring, but I couldn't talk about fort-making without mentioning them! We'd construct secret cubbies in the walls to stash our extra ammo, lay out an elaborate plan of attack, create ways to communicate covertly (tin-can telephones, fake "morse code"), and fight over who got to be "president", "vice president" and "treasurer" (who knows) of the fort.
But the actual snowball fights were always over within 20 minutes because someone got an iceball in the face, and the forts themselves were somehow less fun once they were all finished, because all we could really do in them was sit around.
Longer spring and summer days meant street games: spy tag, hide and go seek, etc. "Capture the Flag" was one of our favourites and we'd play it for hours, every single day. We came up with many legendary hiding spots for the flag, but my personal favourite was when we tied the flag to the inside of my next-door neighbour's cat's collar, so not only was the flag barely visible, but it was a freaking moving target.
Another game we made up was called "Super Mario" (original!), and we basically had to get from my backyard all the way to the corner of the street (about nine backyards total) without touching the ground. We had to climb along fences, sheds, trees, rocks, any random scrap of metal we could find and if we touched the ground we "died" and would have to start all over again. Pretty sure it would take us three hours to do it and it was the absolute best.
I was also a huge schemer as a kid. Massive. The world's biggest. Every few days my next-door neighbour, Steph (the little blonde girl in all of these photos), and I would hatch a brilliant new plot to make money. Some of the highlights included: homemade friendship bracelets, homemade "stress balls" made out of balloons and sand stolen from the park, "squeeze balls" made from balloons filled with the green stuff that falls from trees in the spring, books that we wrote and illustrated ourselves and made sure to draw a big 'copyright' warning on the back cover, our own "Babysitters Club," and fortune telling.
We also had a street newspaper called the "Glenmount Gazette." We'd run colouring contests in the paper, and the big prize was a pack of gum and a "mention" in the next issue. One person entered. My brother. And we had to buy him candy to do it.
Concerts were our main money-grab, though, along with plays and "ice capades" (our request to flood my backyard into an ice rink was denied, so we had to perform it on the grass). We charged 50 cents for admission, and it was always the same neighbours we'd hit up. How annoying!
We'd only make a few dollars each from each scheme, and we'd run up to the corner store and spend it on candy, then come home and eat it as we planned our next one. It was always about the money, but never actually about the money when it came down to it, if that makes any sense.
I was outside all the time as a kid. I know it's such a cliche to exasperatedly say, "kids today!" But seriously, kids today! I never see kids playing street games anymore. So sad! Maybe it's still a thing where you live? Did you guys do any crazy scheming like I did as a kid? I hope you're having a wonderful Thursday!