Sunday 25 Sep 2016

Just a Few Acorns
AJ Robinson

These days, I sometimes worry about our kids. It seems plain old-fashion fun has f fallen by the wayside. I see kids with their iPads, their iPods, their Xbox games, PlayStations 1, 2 or three, their Wii, computer games, and everything else. I worry. Kids seem consumed by electronic methods of entertainment and play. While I myself enjoy these days, on occasion, I also recall the fun I had as a kid just playing.

My friends and I would head down to the pond to catch minnows and build dams across the drainage pipe. We’d play Frisbee tag, freeze tag, war, yeah, I know, totally un-PC, undersea city, battleship and not the board game and countless other games. Our imaginations got quite the regular workouts.

In kids of today, nope, I just didn’t see it. Between the rise of electronics and parents worried about letting kids go out and play, most kids just don’t seem to exercise that most important of “muscles.” That is, until the other day.

My wife and I have had our two goddaughters visiting with us, these last several days. During one of those days, I took the younger one, Jessica, to the swimming pool. For a while, we splashed around, after we got used to the chilly water. Then she got an idea. Climbing out of the pool, she moved around the deck area, and scooped up a bunch of acorns. After that, she scattered them across the pool, and then jumped back into the water.

She had come up with a new game for us to play. It was very simple: we were to swim around, grab the floating acorns until they were all gone and then count how many we’d each gotten. It was a very simple game, but also a fun one. Of course, given my size and speed, and her lack of both, I tended to win most of the rounds.

Then I got an idea. As we started the next round, I swam off to one side, grabbed as many acorns as I could, and then tossed them across the pool. Jessica saw them fly off, and away she went after them. I repeated this a couple times, and then a new idea presented itself to me. First, I snatched a bunch of acorns. Then, I moved behind Jessica and opened my hand. The acorns floated away, and were soon bobbing to the surface. As she grabbed the acorns she could see, she started swimming in a slight circle, and thus she caught sight of the ones behind her. Well, she was off and after them lickity-split!

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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