Saturday, March 20, 2021

Jungle Gym

 This meme has been around for a while:

I love this picture and think it's hilarious. When this meme goes around Facebook, almost everyone claims to have been like that girl. But see those other four girls - the ones paying attention, being good, and wanting to do it right? I was one of them. And I definitely envy that girl on the right, and everyone who says they were, because she is definitely having more fun. 

And then, I remember this....

When I was in Kindergarten, we had a jungle gym in the playground, over behind Stowe School. I loved playing on that thing, and spent all of recess on it. 

It looked like this:

One day, I was dangling from the bars when I saw my beloved teacher hurrying toward me with a strange look on her face - a kind of combination worry and relief. Turns out, recess had ended and everyone had gone back inside. Everyone but me. 

In my own little world, I hadn't even noticed. Hadn't noticed the cacaphony of children's shouts and laughter had stopped and the playground had gone completely quiet. Hadn't noticed them all run off back to our classroom just below. Hadn't noticed that I was all alone on the bars, all alone on the playground.

Teacher wasn't mad. I think she was relieved that I hadn't gone missing and was okay. I think she was amazed that I really just hadn't noticed that recess was over. I was amazed too. She was very kind. I didn't get in trouble. 

And when I think of it now, I have to say that I feel strangely proud of this. 

I don't really want to be that girl over on the right. She's funny, she's having fun, and I admire her free spirit. But you know she gets annoying after a while....

Still, I hope we all have SOME of her in us -  that ability to be free and funny and disobedient and completely in our own little worlds. And I like remembering my jungle gym moment and knowing that I do.


  1. I guess you may have been a rebel!!

  2. I was a secret rebel haha. Still am.

  3. Love it.
    I am also a combination. I WAS the little girl trying to do it right - and looking longingly over my shoulder at the rebel.

  4. Mentally, I'm the girl on the right - my thought-processes are nothing like anyone else's, and even my friends are taken aback occasionally.

    Actually, I once got bitten on the arm by a friend because I was following her mum's rules and she didn't want to. So, no, I'm not a rule-breaker.

    1. The same! I was a Very Good Girl. But I rememeber seeing kids running around in restaurants and otherwise misbehaving and thinking, Why Can't I Get Away with That??? I am totally an anti-authority rebel in my heart, but I learned to hide it. I have however, engaged in quite passive-agressive forms of rebellion in my day! I have often been drawn to friends who were more out there with their rebellion, as if to live vicariously through them. Truth is, most of them were awful "friends"!

  5. Loving the image of a little Melissa, day dreaming away on the jungle gym after everyone else went inside 💕

    1. I could totally be that one right up front - with the brown hair and white sweater - she looks like I did then, haircut and all. xo

  6. Trying to be invisible was my dearest wish when I was a child. When the teacher called on me to answer as I shrunk among all the waving hands of my fellow students I would become mute even though I knew some of the answers. Hard to imagine that I was ever that reserved, shy, and fearful. How fun to uncover who I was! How insightful was my teacher to attempt to draw me out. A new perspective on an old wound.


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