GoT, Writing Prompt Piggy-Back & Dreams
|I remember those times when we had family outings, and went to some local pond in a wooded area. We siblings and our cousins would play in the water, while our parents prepared the picnic tables, started the grills and cooked-up the hamburgers, hotdogs, and warmed up the side dishes prepared ahead of time. Beans, the sloppy kind and the ones with strings. Adults like that stuff.
When the food was ready, we were called out of the water an onto a blanket on the ground. The adults and the food controlled the picnic table, and we wet already. After we chowed down, we begged to go back into the water and were told we had to wait at least a half hour before swimming, again. It was something to do with cramps and drowning. However, we were promised that if we waited until the adults were ready, my dad and uncles would play the water wrestling game, where we took turns getting a piggy-back on the adult’s back while we fought our cousins off their dad’s back -- unless they wrestled us off first. When you are a loser, you end up in the water and have to go to the back of the line until everyone else has their turn fighting the winner down.
Those were wonderful memories. Sometimes at night, I fall into a dream that takes me back to those fun and carefree days of youth and piggy-backs and water games. Those were times when extended family planned a time to get together and show us kids a good time. It was something that made us feel a little richer, no matter how bad the economy was, no matter if Dad was laid off because he was a lower number on the union bench when he was younger, and the jobs were few. None of those things mattered when we got together at that pond. Also, a mile away from that public pond was a town known for its riches. But you know something? Those rich kids were swimming right beside us at that pond. Those rich parents sat at a picnic table, served hot dogs and potato salad, yelled at their kids to not go past the ropes on the shallow end, and laughed and clicked their wine glasses the same way our families did. We never even knew their lives were so very different than ours. On a Sunday afternoon, in August, in the late fifties, we were all the same. We understood the importance of family, and silly piggy-back rides and the old warning to keep out of the water and just play ball until the food digests properly.
When those dreams recur, I always awaken feeling like a youngster, for a few seconds before I realize those days have passed. The extended families are now, separated families -- not by heart, but by miles. Following the job market led to children settling in places far away from their childhood hometown.
I can’t help but miss that connection of the old days. But that leaves time for new piggy-backs -- for visiting grandchildren. The laughter is the same, even without the water games.