Marc Armitage - Thought Crime

Life kicks the silliness out of us

Life kicks the silliness out of us

a \‘shȯrt-rēd’\ piece

When I was in the 6th Form at school (that’s the non-compulsory 17/18 year old bit of school before college and university for you non-British folk) for two years in a row we went on a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads. We found ourselves spilt into groups of four or six, given a boat, some basic instructions and told to be back at the hiring point in a weeks time.

Although some boats grouped together to travel the inland waters in packs others spilt off as lone vessels but for all of us, I don’t think we really appreciated the degree of independence we were being given. There was no ‘adult’ with us, we had no set programme, for many of us it was even the first time we had been responsible for cooking and cleaning up after ourselves.

And it was fun, silly even. For one of the trips my dad made us a set of wooden swords that he painted in grey primer that mysteriously turned bright pink when it dried. My mother made us a skull and crossbones pirate flag, and we bought eye patches, pirate hats and a toy parrot. There was a lot of ‘avast behind’ and ‘splice the mainsail’ stuff as well as shouts to board neighbouring vessels and threats to liberate their fish and chips.

We should probably gloss over the night we nearly set the boat on fire because we had gone to the pub forgetting that we had left the oven on, or the trouble we got into by accidentally entering the tidal waters of Great Yarmouth. But we survived.

We adults tend to miss how important this exuberance of silliness was for us at that time because gradually life kicks the silliness out of us. But that’s even more reason why we should be careful to never decry children and young people for their silliness because there will come a day when it will leave them too.

#playconversation #justsaying #importanceofyouth #sillyness


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