When we’d play hide and go seek for hours on end. On those long, hot summer’s nights, you’d wait for that knock on your door at 8pm, the tribal call telling all the kids in the neighbourhood to convene at the house at the end of street, and that Hide and Seek would begin when everyone got there.
Remember the days when we tired of hide and seek, and we’d lie on the front boulevards watching the stars, the June bugs and fireflies. We’d talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up, how scared we were to go to high school when we were older, and how we were convinced we’d go to university and college.
Remember the days of playing marbles on the stone deck, dance parties on the wooden decks, and how it was so much better before we all had fences. Remember being able to go to the house behind yours by simply crossing the backyard, instead of going around the street.
Remember when it was a huge deal if someone in the neighbourhood got a pool, or a new pet, or a new sibling, or even a new car. It was a big deal if you played your ghetto blaster too loud out your bedroom window and it bothered the neighbours outside. Remember dancing to The Sign and being convinced it was and would forever be the best song in the entire world.
Remember those days of hide and go seek, playing hours on end. Always being the first one caught, or celebrating the fact that you officially found the best hiding spot and convincing yourself no one else had ever thought to hide there. Remember the rules of how you weren’t allowed to go behind the school, or leave the end of the street, and to always come home if there was lightning – no matter if the game was finished or not.
Remember the days when we were younger and your best friends in the entire world consisted of the people who lived on your street. Remember the days before the internet, blackberries and cellphones, when people – young and old – made a point to connect with one another face to face, instead of through a signal you can’t even see.
Remember when you knew all your friends phone numbers off by heart, needing to ask permission before you could call them, and sitting by the phone for hours waiting for your friends to call.
Remember being invited to your friends for dinner, begging to have a sleepover, and watching scary movies you were too young to watch in the first place.
Remember a time when you could honestly say you knew everyone who lived around you.
Can you say that now?