by Calvin Bergsma
What would you do for fun if the power was turned off in your home & your phone battery went dead? No... TV, computer, Video Games, Facebook, Texting, iPods! (It wouldn't be the end of the world!)
Essentially that's the way I grew up. When I was young, fun did not require batteries or electricity. We did not have computers, video games, and we did not even own a TV until I was about 10 and were only allowed to watch Flipper (dolphin) and Daniel Boone.
But my brothers and sisters and I weren't deprived or bored... because we knew how to play. When I was growing up we played outside most of the time. We spent our childhood exploring, fishing, building forts and playing strenuous physical games using balls and bats, sticks and stones.
Our world was anything within a mile or two. We walked or rode our bikes when we wanted to go somewhere... parents would not think of driving us to where our bikes would take us. As a result we were healthy and strong. Not only did we exercise our body, we developed our imaginations (the true toy box of fun and entertainment).
At the end of each day we might climb into bed exhausted, but always anticipating our dreams where we would continue the exciting journey of childhood in a land where we could fly and where there were no chores. We seeded our dreams with the plans of tomorrow's new adventure.
Snuggling under our covers in the darkness, we suddenly would hear our father stomping up the stairs "Thump... Thump... Thump..." to pray with us. Sometimes after our prayers our dad would tell us one of the many stories about "Johnny McGregor." Nothing was better than that!
I can truly say... that the stories told by my Father (as I was growing up) were more exciting than any Hollywood production. The images that played on the high definition screen of our minds were so real we could smell and feel the characters. These stories were his own variations of the Johnny McGregor stories his father told him.
I continued the tradition with my own children, saying, "One day Johnny McGregor and his brother and sister...."
I challenge all parents in this time of every form of high tech entertainment... to go back to the basics and start a tradition of telling your children and grandchildren bed time stories as you tuck them into bed. I guarantee they will enjoy them and create a legacy of memories!