It’s time for adult field days … aspirin please
Published 4:48 pm Friday, May 17, 2019
For the past week or so, local schools have conducted a true rite of passage, seen each spring. It is well planned, choreographed down to the minute, anticipated by hundreds and then executed as well as herding cats can truly be done.
I’m talking about the annual field day.
In most cases, field days are a combination of relays, face painting, random throwing of balls at a target or goal, and — if you are among the lucky ones — a dunking booth with a long list of teachers and administrators “eagerly” waiting their turn to swim.
While the event normally takes place over a few hours in the morning or afternoon, it is an event that children look forward to just below the arrival of Santa on Christmas or a birthday. In fact, I would say the Easter Bunny falls behind field day on the list of many children.
My children were no exception. For weeks, Fin, my youngest, had talked about field day, wondered how many days until field day and looked at his field day shirt lovingly.
That anticipation and hopeful wonder made me sad that there were not more field days scheduled throughout the year.
And all of this got me to thinking that as adults we do not have a field day of our own any more. Yes, we have the ability to take time off, hit the golf course, or leave work for some rest and relaxation, but a true field day is something that is missing in our lives.
Now, some of us might not be able to recover from an afternoon of relays, dunking booths or inflatable “bouncy houses,” but in the moment, just imagine how much of a kid you would again feel like.
The next morning you would feel your age — or a lot older — but in that moment you would be a first grader all over again.
And maybe the adult version of field day would not include a balloon pop, egg carry or Hula-Hoop competitions.
Such activities like shopping cart demolition, laundry folding relays and timed bed making could be included. Or, we could bring games back from our past, such as dodgeball and Red Rover. Think of the number of injuries and days out of work that would be registered afterward.
Field days at school were something I truly enjoyed as a child. I’m thankful such activities are still part of the school calendar.
As the school year comes to a close, thanks for those who organize such events; thanks to those who love and care for our children each and every day; and best wishes for a restful and recharging summer away from the classroom.
Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.