You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Reminiscing: Kids’ games have changed since I was growing up
Apple Pie and SalsaJanuary 18, 2012 | 2,022 views | Post a comment
With the passing of another Christmas season, I saw so many commercials about toys and gadgets that it nearly blew my mind. Gone are the days when children asked for and were lucky to get a doll, dishes, toy cars and trucks, a BB gun like the boy in the movie “A Christmas Story,” or maybe even a bike. Now, kids ask for phones that are mini-computers, iPods, Wii games, laptops, and other high-tech devices.
I know my nephew, Rudy, once wrote about all the games that he remembers playing, from a boy’s point of view. I got to thinking of what I played when I was little. At the top of the list is playing comadritas. That’s playing house with dolls and dishes. My only doll was my Simplicia, which I have written about being almost as big as me. My playmate most of the time was my niece, Lola.
Once, I got my cousin, Jessiel, to play with me since they were living with us. He made me promise not to tell the other boys. But, shame on me -- I didn’t keep my promise and he never again played with me. Back then boys didn’t do that.
Then, there was the jump rope. At home I used the individual size rope. I loved jumping rope at school with the other girls, using the long ropes with two girls turning it at opposite ends. What I could never master was the double ropes, where they would turn two ropes simultaneously in opposite directions.
Then there were the softball games. I wasn’t good at that but I had to join in because it was part of the curriculum. I wasn’t a good hitter, and when I tried to catch the ball it would always hit the tips of my fingers and I would get a jammed finger. That hurt. Sports were not my thing.
The front yard at the Spruce house was all dirt, and I played marbles there with my brother Rufo. We also played with little cars and trucks, making roads on the dirt.
On summer nights, we had fun catching fireflies and putting them in jars and also playing hide and seek. On winter nights, we all enjoyed playing Chinese checkers, grown-ups and kids alike. And Mamá would entertain us by making animal figures with her hands and throwing the shadows on the wall by the light of the kerosene lamp.
Then, there were the zankos (stilts) that Mamá made for us. That was a lot of fun. (Didn’t I tell you Mamá was multi-talented?) When our kids were growing up, Henry made zankos for them. But, then I was the mother and I worried that they would get hurt because they would run races. And I loved playing jacks. That was something I could do by myself, and playing with paper dolls, dressing them in different outfits.
How things have changed. We kids were never bored. It didn’t take much to make us happy.
Something else I was reminiscing about -- a word game that we played in grammar school, in the upper grades. I don’t know where or how were learned it, but for those that didn’t know it yet, it would confuse them to hear some of us speaking this language. We would add “f” and the last letters of the preceding syllable. For instance, “tu estas loco” (you are crazy), a favorite phrase, became “tufu efestafas lofocofo.” I really would like to know if anyone out there from my generation remembers that.
Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 26, 2015)
Cody Johnson to rock Nixon Feather Fest (August 26, 2015)
Dance in Geronimo (August 26, 2015)
Enjoy Fall Feast in Garfield (August 26, 2015)
Franklin Mint (August 26, 2015)
Got prayer? ‘War Room’ does (August 26, 2015)
He’s lived a sweet, gentle life (August 26, 2015)
Kerrville Fall Music Fest Sept. 4-6 (August 26, 2015)
LV prepares for Hammerfest (August 26, 2015)
Memories soar during Honor Flight (August 26, 2015)
St. Hedwig Legion plans Warrior Cry fund-raiser (August 26, 2015)
Whit’s Initiative donates to children’s home (August 26, 2015)
A window to their world (August 19, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 19, 2015)
Gillespie County Fair, horse racing meet (August 19, 2015)
LBJ autograph (August 19, 2015)
Lutheran youth plan donation fund-raiser (August 19, 2015)
Purchase tickets for veteran fund-raiser (August 19, 2015)
Receive blessing, sundaes (August 19, 2015)
Remembering Coach Henry Tomerlin (August 19, 2015)
The importance of vaccinating your pets (August 19, 2015)
Tickets on sale for Wild Game Dinner (August 19, 2015)
AgapeFest is Aug. 22 (August 12, 2015)
Age Well, Live Well event (August 12, 2015)
Back-to-school carnival (August 12, 2015)
Barbecue benefit for Logan Saenz Aug. 16 (August 12, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 12, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (August 12, 2015)
Falls City alumni celebrate Beaver Roundup (August 12, 2015)
Free family recycling event (August 12, 2015)
H-E-B invites Texans to shed pounds, gain dollars (August 12, 2015)
Hear country tunes in New Braunfels (August 12, 2015)
Labor Day campout (August 12, 2015)
Play bunco in La Vernia (August 12, 2015)
Prescription-free healing pleasures of summer (August 12, 2015)
Remembering the Farmer’s Daughter Dance Hall (August 12, 2015)
Sunday Country Dance set for Aug. 16 (August 12, 2015)
Tabletop radio (August 12, 2015)
Three Oaks Ice Cream Social (August 12, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 5, 2015)
Classic cookbook (August 5, 2015)
Farmers Market in Loire (August 5, 2015)
Floresville Leo Club Back to School event (August 5, 2015)
Get set to get wet at Splash-O-Lympics (August 5, 2015)
Hear Chris Rybak at Czech Gala (August 5, 2015)
Pilgrim Opry is Aug. 8 (August 5, 2015)
Prom date grows into enduring love — 15 years later (August 5, 2015)
Rey Feo group to award scholarships (August 5, 2015)
Savor: Lemon Pesto Mason Jar Pasta Salad (August 5, 2015)
St. Gerard Rummage Sale Aug. 8 (August 5, 2015)
Stockdale Leo Club fund-raisers (August 5, 2015)
The Floresville, Wilson County story from days gone by (August 5, 2015)
‘The’ rock wall: Searching for answers (August 5, 2015)