Beyond City Limits

Amanda - Casa Grande, Arizona
Entered on September 22, 2008

Beyond City Limits

We didn’t need much. Entertainment simply came from our imagination.

While other kids were tuned into their video games my brother Mitchel, and our life long friend John and I, were acting as chefs by creating mud pies and spinach out the weeds that grew in the broken sidewalk.

Days like those are what formed me into the person I am today. We may have not known it then, but we were the lucky ones living away from the hustle of the city. I believe that every child should experience life beyond city limits.

All summer we played out under the scorching sun until September of 1998 when mother nature finally took pity on us. The rain came down on us as if it was bursting out of the sky and the streets filled until they spilt over the curbs. It felt like complete freedom standing there barefoot in my dad’s oversized Notre Dame jersey soaking up every drop, every crash of thunder , and the aroma of wet Arizona dirt. The frogs croaked so loudly you could hardly ignore them. We always had to keep ourselves occupied since we lived so far out of town, and this time wasn’t any different. The three of us ran home in knee deep water to fetch our red plastic sailboats. Next we gathered those obnoxious frogs and set them off on a sea-like adventure.

On the other hand, the city kids had a lot of opportunities such as; being exposed socially , access to more technology, the convenience of a parent driving them child to functions, and so on. However, does convenience even compare to psychological development of a young person?

Jean Jacques Rousseau once said in 1762, “You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.” I admire her words because times have definitely changed since 1762 and the simplicity of children playing will always be viewed and a wonderful thing. Although we come from very different places we were all a child once.

I feel the way we were brought up taught us stability. Few things changed growing up in the desert. I lived in the same house for ten years, with the same friends , the same school , and the same ol’ good times. If anything out of the ordinary happened , everyone knew and I can still remember those specific things. I remember when John’s grandparents moved in with him ,and even when the golf course was to sold to a new owner. Those things, though small, changed our everyday lives.

Looking back now I am jealous of the care-free lives we lived. I can never get those times back but I will definitely make sure that someday my children will live the life that I loved. They will know that there is more to life than appointments and due dates and to embrace the small things. I wish I knew then what I know now because times were good in the middle of that Arizona desert.