When I was a little girl, I don't remember the age, but I was little so you know it was way back…my Aunt Kathy used to take me swimming. I mean I am sure there were more aunts and uncles that took me, but I always feel nostalgic because it was her and she only lived until I was seven. We used to go to the swimming pool down by the creek. I remember checking my clothes in and holding onto aunties and uncles while they tried to teach me to swim. I always remember seeing people I knew there, people I went to "jail head start" with and people I was related to. I remember the smell of chlorine and sound of laughter.
I also remember swimming at East Dam. I remember there was a beach and we all would jump off logs into the water. It would be hot summer days, the adults would be standing around on the beach part by their cars listening to music, laughing and keeping an eye on the kids while we all screamed around while swimming. Uncles would be fishing nearby and if they did other things while fishing, I was not witness to it and didn't smell it. Nor did I snitch.
I remember when I used to go watch the movies at the old high school auditorium I saw Jaws there for the first time.
I remember fishing at White Clay Dam and Denby Dam and catching perch and catfish and thinking I was the bomb because of it. I remember watching my dad cut the heads off and gut and fry them right in front of me. I remember trying to eat them quickly because they were so delicious yet having to eat them carefully because of the tiny bones.
I remember sleigh riding off the Cohen Home hill in deep snow and I remember neighborhood softball games. I remember when neighborhoods didn't have speed bumps and kids didn't play in the middle of the street. I remember when fights were one on one and scheduled. Meet me here at 8 and if you got your butt kicked, that was that. You licked your wounds and probably were friends by the next week. I remember Friday Night Videos and slumber parties. I remember when Joy Lynn Parton, Andrea Schreiner, Allie Big Crow, and I mooned a car and it turned out to be the cops. (Apologies to them for not asking permission to snitch on them and I am even sorrier to the mothers who never knew.)
I remember when being a youth on the reservation was about being young, having fun and "not so innocent."
Those were the days when we didn't have to prove anything to anyone, didn't have to act all gangster, we were proud to be Lakota and didn't try to take on another culture. Those were the days we had things to do.
So is it technology and the World Wide Web that brought us here now? Is it the fact that as a community, we really don't have any recreational activities for our kids like we did back then? Or is it that as parents, we should be there for our children, each and every day?
I don't know what it is, I'm not preaching, but damn, I miss those days.