A friend and I were talking last week about things that we did as children that we hoped to hell that our children wouldn’t do. We had little fear and I’m sure our parents thought we were doing things just to deliberately piss them off. Which is probably what many of us think about our kids now!
The town that I grew up in had a creek outside of town. When it flooded it cut off the town from three directions..rendering the place an island. Most of the time though it was a creek that at it’s deepest point near the bridge was only about 2 metres deep. That of course didn’t stop us from jumping out of trees into the water.
The rush of free falling from the tree was amazing, and for those few seconds it felt like I was flying. Of course the adults in our lives all told us we would break our necks and die if we continue to do it. This, as does most warnings from the ‘rents, just made us want to do it more.
The smell that came from the creek was pungent. It was no doubt because when it wasn’t flooded, the creek was stagnant. One of our teachers banned all show and tell stories about swimming in the creek because she said it make her skin crawl. We all just thought she was a lame city slicker.
The creek bed was thick and clay like. It would stick to everything and turn rock hard if it wasn’t washed off straight away. We would stomp along the creek bed barefoot to make boots to walk home in. It was much easier than trying to put shoes back on. Even though the creek was only about 200m away from the edge of town, after a day of swimming and being in the sun it always felt like a marathon effort.
My friends and I would often go walking down to the creek after school, which had a road through it when the creek was low. It was a pretty decent walk, and the school often used the road for cross country.
One warning that my mum (if we had stopped at my place after school that is) always gave me if I went down in my uniform was ‘don’t go swimming’. On one walk we came across what appeared to be a small puddle. We had all be given the instruction not to get our uniforms wet. It’s only a puddle, I said, we’ll be fine I said. I went first, took two steps and ended up neck deep in water. It was hilarious…until we realised my school uniform was saturated. We ran around trying to dry it, and stayed out as long as we could but I had to drag my sorry arse home. Thankfully I got nothing more than a shake of the head and instructions to hang my clothes out so they would dry at least.
I miss the days of carefree swimming in the creek and not caring that our feet were so badly caked with mud that we weren’t sure if we could get it all off. I miss the days of having no responsibility.
Did you have a creek or local swimming hole near where you grew up?
Linking up with I must confess.