Reliving Childhood




I have to agree with Jack Spatafora ("When's The Last Time You Threw A Snowball?") that we shouldn't suppress our inner child.   No matter how old you grow, you can stay young at heart.  A Twilight Zone episode "Kick the Can" does  a take on this theme.  Charles, a resident of a retirement home remembers the magic and wonder of his youth when he hears children playing kick the can outside his window.  He feels the child within inviting him to revive the fun of childhood.  His roommate Ben tells him he's an old fool and refuses to join him  in a game of kick the can.  But Charles and a few other residents do  manage to steal  outdoors. When Ben returns with the home director, they find only a group of children on the grass playing kick the can, one of whom Ben could almost say was Charles himself.

Emily Dickinson once wrote, "We turn not older with years, but newer every day."  Wordsworth's heart leaped up when as a child  he beheld  a rainbow in the sky. "So be it when I shall grow old,/Or let me die!/ The Child is father of the Man."

When I was growing up on 40th Street near Kedzie Avenue---the  towering Crane Company clock warning of the hour---my buddies and I would kick the can down the alley. Everyone would scatter to hide before the one who was "it" retrieved the can and began the hunt for the others.   Or so I recall.   I  feel younger just thinking about it.


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