By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City
After watching Super Bowl which I seriously tried to figure out to understand, I joined the millions who cheered for the winner, the Baltimore Ravens and admired the glory of the confetti that rained on them.
Not much of a sports buff, I find it more elating to watch the crowd roar and cheer for their team and favorite athletes, as much as I enjoyed watching the faces of my friends and cousins light up as they watch the game on the boob tube.
The games I knew were the ordinary ones which children play. Hide and Seek. Hopscotch. Jackstone. Foot jump. Chinese Garter. Hoola Hoop. Doll House. War Games, sometimes.
I was not a very active child. Being asthmatic slowed me down that I only settled for the less strenuous games like jackstone, foot jump, hoola hoop, doll house, hide and seek, and hopscotch. I joined my cousins and brother sometimes when they played the war games, which was popularly done by the boys. In those days, I was Wonder Woman. A good childhood memory.
Games of course, is the predominant socialization pattern of children. Unwittingly they imitate life through play. Games and any forms of play dynamically shape and reveal the character of each child.
Adults must always be on the look-out as to the kind of games children play, for if unattended, it could mean hazard and death. I speak from experience.
My brother and I were fond of watching TV shows about American Indians. One afternoon, while we were told to go to our bedroom for the mandatory nap, we were playing instead (of course). We decided to play American Indians who were building a bonfire. We piled our pillows on the floor, crampled our mosquito net and blankets. I, being the older one, took the candle and lit it with the match which was within my reach.
Imitating what we saw on TV, my brother and I, carrying the lit candles, were circling around our piled up blankets and pillows, and chanted as the American Indians did. Finally, we squatted on the floor, and I lit the blanket, imagining that it was already night time and we needed the bonfire.
Before our very eyes, the blanket was blazing! I said, ahh ohhh…so this is a fire. My brother and I huffed and puffed the blanket, only to find out that the fire has grown bigger and bigger. Perhaps by instinct, or whatever it was, I automatically jumped and stomped on the blanket and put off the fire.
My brother and I were damned nervous. We were thought we were such disobedient children. We were so quite and tired at our shenanigan and decided to follow orders…take a nap.
No one in the house knew that we almost set it on fire. Until bedtime.
My mother was preparing our beds and was surprised why there was so much candle waxes on our pillows and finally, she screamed when she saw the blanket with a burnt hole!
“Marivir! Jesurey! what did you do today?!” she was yelling in horror at us. I said, we played American Indians and we built a bonfire.
My mom turned her anger at my two aunts who were our babysitters, for not having the slightest idea what was going on that afternoon.
The incident was something I will never forget. When I became a mother, I made sure my daughter did not have any access to candles, matches, or anything combustible.
We will never know how kids play and imitate life. We should keep watching them.