When I was growing up only the big kids got to play in the street. I’m talking about my grandpa’s street, the street where the majority of my early childhood memories were made. We always had to play on the sidewalk. We loved staring on with admiration as the older kids rode their bikes, jumped on wood plank ramps and played ball in the land of ‘the street’.
As we got older we eventually were the ones that ruled ‘the street’; even painting (yes, real paint) a big hopscotch and basketball court on the pavement. Reminiscing, feeling nostalgic remembering those times, when the only thing we waited on was for the ice cream truck to roll by in the afternoon, twice if we were lucky.
In today’s day and age as parents we are a bit paranoid when it comes to letting our kids play out front, up and down the sidewalks, in the street, unsupervised. The media instills so much paranoia in us. In an effort to not instill this fear in my boys I had to take baby steps as they got older. Tristan is 12 now and it wasn’t until two years ago that I let him ride his bike to his friend’s house two streets down for fear that something ‘bad’ would happen. I went through the same thing with his older brother. By the time Jorgie was 15 he was riding his skateboard with friends all around town. It’s insane the difference a few years make with letting go.
My niece turned eight last month and while at her birthday party I stepped out front for a bit while everyone was in the backyard and documented Tristan and his right of passage to play in ‘the street’ with his cousin Blake and some neighborhood boys.
Childhood Unplugged is a collaboration I share with 11 other photographers. You can click here to see what the others have been up to for February. Also you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Tag your unplugged moments with #childhoodunplugged for a chance to have your image featured on Instagram. Thank you so very much for your continued support.
*all images shot on Contax 645 camera with Fuji 160nps film, developed at The FIND Lab