Thursday, January 18, 2007

Remember back when...

I was thinking back to our childhood the other night, and realised just how great it actually was. When averaging all the ups and downs of our past, it sorta comes up roses... as opposed to those large brazilian jungle flowers that smell like rotting meat, put it that way. I'd like to think we're pretty stable personalities now, with very little going on upstairs in regards to deep-seated* issues from our childhood, and I think I'm gonna attribute a lot of that to the first 13 or so years of our life. Oh, and our parents probably had something to do with it too.  Cheers guys.

As you can imagine, loneliness was never an issue growing up. Competitiveness, stealthy food fights, top and lower bunk rotation, always buying two of everything in blue AND red... those were issues, but never loneliness. We didn't have the widest circle of friends growing up either, but we certainly didn't discriminate. We'd play with anybody... the nerds, the cool kids, the girls and even the little punks down the road that'd burst into tears, pack up their toys and leave in a wild cussing fit if and when they so pleased [what's up Tyrone]. Actually, I'd like to think most kids enjoyed the little adrenaline rush of coming over to the twin's house, because they knew they'd be involved in some activities they couldn't or wouldn't try at their own place. Not that we were the evil kids that peer pressured your ass into shooting birds or something [not AT ALL], think more along the A-Team lines of things... the Ninja lines if you will.  

We were blessed with slightly more adventurous spirits than the average 9 year olds, and this became evident in the post-school hours of the day. Building a cubby house in the sappy backyard pine tree, which honestly only consisted of a single wooden board to seat ONE... it became a race to get up there, and then a charade to make it look like you were having way more fun up the tree than down. This probably started our obsession for constructing things outta the junk in Dad's garage. The ways of the Ninja also became a big part of our childhood... throwing-stars cut from lead or tin, katanas and sais made from sharpened wood, bo-staffs made from... well not really made, more adapted from the kitchen broom. And of course, the black tee-shirt wrapped intricately around the head to reveal ninja eyes, but which had to be taken off due to breathing complications. Night falls, and we'd run around battling nobody, and hiding from nothing.

The 'game' though that achieved legendary, nay MYTHICAL repute in the adolescent community, would have had to be 'Missions'. Missions were born simply through 'dares', like so many other pure games before it. "I dare you to jump our back fence, run through Mr Johnson's yard and meet me on the next street"... or Mission A. "I dare you to walk along our back fence until it becomes the crazy woman's house, then run through her yard, jump the fence into the yard with the rottweiler, over their gate and out through the back lane".. or Mission C [which was only ever done once by the way, and just barely once]. By Mission D, we were on people's roofs, and I'm pretty sure you couldn't complete Mission G without a grappling hook... [or was it bolt cutters?] The one piece of equipment required for every Mission though, was the trusty tennis ball. If ever caught while on enemy territory, you'd immediately resort to making exaggerated head movements while squinting the eyes, and swatting at random plantlife. You'd be surprised at exactly how well "I'm just looking for my tennis ball" can get you out of an awkward trespassing dilemma. One time when I forgot to bring one, I can remember having the owner of the house looking with me for half an hour for a ball that was never there, only to pull out from the garden an actual tennis ball covered in a thick layer of dried mud and leaves that was so obviously NOT the ball in question... "Is this what you're looking for?" C'monnn, what would you have said if you were given such a quick out? Anyway, bottom line is... you came to the twin's house when you wanted to star in your own personal spy movie, and we were proud of that fact [it actually became our most responsive viral marketing line!].

Maybe it was due to not owning a TV for much of our early years? [although I'm definitely sure that's why we're obsessed with it now!] Maybe it was the double-story design of our house that just begged to be climbed up, swung from and jumped off? Maybe it was our parents, that maintained a firm-but-fair attitude of 'just be careful', and were probably okay with letting us prance around because they knew we had each other's backs. I don't know, but I feel like we had a pretty solid childhood... and a part of me wishes we could start up Missions again without the fear of serious jail time.

Jon [Josh].

* 'Deep-seeded' or 'deep-seated'?


Anonymous said...

Hey guys,
just read your blog.
I'll be in the US soon but won't have time to make it to NY.
Hope you're being blessed, and being a blessing.
Concerning your "childhood memories" entry... hmm, yes. You have a strong father and a balanced mother, and probably people who prayed for you. Hope your confidence rubs off on others in good ways!

Ruth said...

wow, that's a great description of what went on at your place - although I mostly only saw the end results :-)
I do remember wondering why of all the families I knew you two had to be the ones with a two-storey (read 'high off the ground, asking for trouble') house.

But I always thought you'd have an interesting life if you survived childhood and I'm delighted to see I was right.

I'm also glad to hear that you don't carry too many childhood scars - I would have worried that I may have been responsible for some of them!

Ruth (aka Miss Godden, your kindergarten teacher!)