Do you remember the hundred acre wood?
I grew up there. I lived in an isolated area with the beach as my front yard and the woods as my back. I had more imaginary friends than real ones. I had “camperations” in the woods, where I would play with my friends. The tended to be little clearings with running water where we would set up housekeeping in the woods then go off and have little adventures finding things.
I know I had Winnie-the-Pooh books because I have them still. As a child the books were just a good read that made sense to me. I don’t recall having them read to me only reading them for myself.
I re-encountered them as an adult when a Thanksgiving guest brought one to my son one year, he was three or four (my son, not the guest). As an adult I recognized Milne’s genius: he captured the essence of childhood as it should be. I still feel a little guilty because we lived in the city and modern times where my son didn’t have the woods and the free time to explore an d build an imaginary world.
We limited activities more than most families, but his life was pretty structured with daycare, school, and a few activities. People worried about “socialization” that was when they coined the term “play date”.
I remember that after I started home schooling him (6th grade) people would ask me about that and I said “he goes out and plays with the kids in the neighborhood”. That was all the “socialization” my friends and I ever had (I am not sure “socialization” was a word yet).
Times have changed…I think I was lucky to get out of Childhood when I did, before the modern improvements. How about you?