Life's stories



I subscribe to a site called MountainWings. I have been for years but I can’t remember how I found them. The owner of the site wrote this a few days ago and I just thought to share because my siblings and I have been talking about how children don’t play outside anymore. When we were young, we always looked forward to the evenings when we could go play outside. There were all sorts of games to play then – table tennis on the surface of our water reservoir, ten-ten, that game where you draw squares on the ground/sand and throw a stone into one of them then jump around in it, can’t recall the name… Those were good times. Anyways, enjoy;


I took my two oldest boys somewhere recently that they enjoyed so much they didn’t want to come back home.

It was a place where there were all kinds of rides and fun things to see, do and play with. Every town has one of these places no matter how small.

I know people are on a tight budget nowadays, but I truly believe this is a place everyone can afford if they really wanted to.

I can remember my parents carrying me to this place many times and how much fun I had as a little boy, and I’m sure you do to.

Even though it seems like you could stay there all day and night, they do have a closing time and then you have to go home.

The place I am talking about is outside.

No I’m not talking about a town fair or carnival that is outside.  I am simply talking about just plain old outside.

The rides I was referring to are tricycles and bicycles. The fun things to see, do and play with are flowers, dirt, sticks, and pine cones. The closing time is when the lights turn down (the Sun). The memories are priceless, but the cost is also priceless.

That’s right, it is free to go outside.

I took my kids outside the other day and what a time they had.

The older we get in life the more it takes to entertain and fascinate us. Most adults would not get the same thrill out of an amusement park as kids get out of going outside.

Many times what we think our kids want and need are not what they actually want and need. A child would grow tired of playing with a $1,000 remote-controlled helicopter by themselves faster than they would just blowing daffodils into the wind and watching it’s miniature parachutes land.

You see with kids, it’s not just what they have or do more so than it is with whom they are with.

Children value time and attention from parents much more than gifts. I bought each of my young boys their own set of drums. Sure they played with them a lot the first week, but after that they had more fun when I got down on the kitchen floor with them and turned over three pots as if they were drums and beat on them with them with spoons and spatulas.

Don’t mistake me, I never said Mom enjoys hearing the “noise,” nor does she enjoy the thought of us beating on her good pots and pans. But it warms her heart just to know her kids have a tight bond with their father.

I bought my kids the best brand new $300 video game with extra controls, the latest games and even got extra memory to save the place in the game. A week later, I packed it all up and took it back to the store. I had just spent over $500 on a game that had the latest 3D graphics. I was frustrated on one hand but learned a valuable lesson on the other.

I took them outside, got some pinecones and handed them a stick.

I was the pitcher and they were the batters. No game on the expensive console could match the laughter and enjoyment that my kids showed while knocking a home run (hitting the pinecone out of the yard) with a stick.

The next time you want to give your kids the very best in entertainment, try a neat place called outside.

~A MountainWings Original by James Bronner~


12 thoughts on “Outside

    1. Suwe. Our naija hopscotch. 😀

      Playing outside got phased out when security became such an issue. High walls and gates prevented friends from seeing each other and then television, computers and videogames replaced the friends entirely.

      All I can say now is thank God for school. At least, there’s still somewhere they get to interact with other kids.


  1. There was gamebox too,who is in the garden,lagos stop.ohhh *sighs* i do miss those days,imaginary husband and wife playing family,cooking all sorts with I cherish.


  2. Years ago, my family and a couple of other families used to organise family trips either to a farm just to experience the planting and harvesting of corn and cassava, or many times, to the different beaches in Lagos. He will gather all we kids and race to and fro the beach singing: ina njo lori oke, e sare! (there is fire on the mountain, run! run!). Though he’s in his sixties today, those experiences have helped keep we his kids together in love! Those days will always make a lot of difference in our lives.


  3. I moved into my apartment with a large compound 2 years ago and have a family with 4 kids as neighbours. Its struck me more than a few times how I’ve never seen those kids play in the compound for the past 2 years and 4 months since I’ve moved there. They perpetually play behind the bars they have for a balcony.

    I mean when I was much younger, even though we were not legally allowed to play outside except my parents gave the green light, our parents and us knew it was a game of car and mouse – except you got caught, no one could do jack about it – you could play outside till you got caught out and we did get caught out. These kids, I’ve never seen them play in my large compound that parks 12 cars – yea its that large!

    I do hope when my brood start to hatch, they’ll also understand that games, computers are not enough to enjoy their little world, that they’ll need to step out (when I’m not home) and enjoy outside till dey hear my horn…and scramble indoors to pretend they’ve been reading all day. 😛


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