Kids in the street with flyswatters rekindle hope for our future |

Kids in the street with flyswatters rekindle hope for our future

Dear Editor,

I’ve been troubled lately; lying awake at night pondering the most important victims of the world’s recent chaos … the children. It is worth a few sleepless nights, I reason, to stew over the plight of our young ones – those who take over after we disintegrate our values and morals for the sake of the almighty dollar. It is in the midst of this unbridled worry that I came across something that caused me to pause and then become, dare I say, joyous?

I witnessed a small scene that to some, I suppose, would be considered forgettable. There was a group of kids in the street playing ball with flyswatters.

There were two teams (of sorts) who were undoubtedly hashing out the rules to their newfound game. Their equipment: a bouncy ball and a flyswatter – therefore making the game accessible to all who could pilfer one from their house. Cleats, carpools, frenzied parents with unrealized dreams, refs, nutritious snacks, and fund-raisers were all, refreshingly, absent.

And for the kids who couldn’t get their hands on a flyswatter? Why, they were “spotters,” of course, screaming “car” so the team could shift to the unused portion of the road. The sheer genius of this new sport was like antacid for my flaming, troubled soul. The fervor with which they pursued their endeavor rivaled any Gameboy, whiny movie star, or steroid-induced, overpaid pro athlete. You could see some kids’ delegation skills blooming, and in others you could watch mediation techniques take shape, as quibbles would ensue.

Is it not true that those who think for themselves are less apt to fall into the “trap of conformity” that plagues this nation today? Don’t get me wrong. We need to instill a sense of right and wrong in our kids whether it is church, organized sports and events, or by a parents example; but to take away that window for kids to think for themselves and experience the pain and pleasure of pure, inventive creativity is plain un-American.

So the next time you’re tempted to holler “go outside and play” to your children, don’t feel guilty.

Instead, know that you are contributing to the future of a well-adjusted “thinking” child who may one day: question the validity of a conglomerate corporation retaining his life-savings; mediate the end to a senseless, greedy baseball strike; or advise a president that was elected for his connections and wealth rather than his leadership skills. And to those kids in Lyons subdivision in Silt I say, “May your bouncy balls avoid sewer grates and mean dogs, and your flyswatters wave on in glory!”

Tonya Wernsmann


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