Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Playing On The Streets

The street is their playground, for they know no other.  This sentence formed in my mind as I saw one of our neighbor's child playing ball on the street.  She is one of the many neighborhood children.  The street is where they grew up, their own home too small, too hot to stay in during the late afternoon/early evening hours of the day.  There is a cool wind outside, no need for an electric fan.  The street is spacious, wide enough to run around, play tag, hide 'n seek and even learn to ride a bike.  These kids know how to dodge the cars, tricycles or pedestrians that go by.  Cars, tricycles and pedestrians too have learned how to dodge the kids and the games they play.

In contrast, my own kids are not allowed to play on the streets.  We see it as dangerous.  When we do go to other streets like at my cousin's area a few blocks from us or in Binangonan where they do get a chance to play on not-so-busy streets, the kids have to be told to stop their play and stay on the side of the street when a car, tricycle, vendor or pedestrian passes by.  They're not used to playing on the streets.  We are lucky enough to have a big enough garage and front area where the kids have learned to play games, basketball and learned to ride their bikes.  But I realize that they are missing out too.  Missing out on playing with other kids in the neighborhood and learning some of the traditional Filipino games they play.  It's a choice that we've made, their safety comes first.  A street is a street, mostly for vehicles to travel on and not a playground for kids.  But for some, the street is the only playground they've known.


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