Childhood’s End

So I’m sitting at High Park this afternoon after school while Nefarious and a few of her friends played in the castle. I was sitting on the swing keeping an eye on them, and a couple fifteen or sixteen year old boys sat down on the swing next to me. I get a kick out of guys at that age, because they’re a hilarious mix of adult and child — it’s quite comical to watch them, totally “grown up” were we living in any other era, pushing each other on the swings. Were this anything but a rich, 21st century first-world nation they’d already be men, but our world is a soft one.

Anyway, this was their conversation…

Guy One: “Dude, are we too old to be doing this?”

Guy Two: “I don’t know, everyone here is really little…
         …but do you want to go play in the castle?”

Guy One: “Yeah, I’m really feeling this, dude.”

Guy Two: “Okay, let’s go.”

So yeah, up they went into the castle and slid down the spiral slide with the five year olds. Ah, to never lose one’s youth.


  1. MissSio wrote:

    We had a playground like that in the town where I grew up. I was back there a few weeks ago for my grandfather’s funeral, and we drove by. The old playground was gone, the wooden maze and castle replaced by generic plastic equipment. I guess the wood might have given splinters or something. It’s awesome they still have those for your little girl to experience!

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  2. mark wrote:

    That’s funny, and inspiring.

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
  3. eight wrote:

    I want to live there too.

    Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Paul wrote:

    I think you’re never too old to play in a big wooden castle. I’m 25 but, I’d still want to play in there, it looks cool. I’d only go in if I was with other people though, playing in there on my own would probably just look odd.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 4:41 am | Permalink
  5. Jack wrote:

    #1 – I think a lot of those wooden castle playgrounds have been torn down because parents are all up in arms about the arsenic found in pressure-treated lumber. You know, because plastic seems so much safer lately…

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 5:51 am | Permalink
  6. pelirojo wrote:

    I say as long as you don’t get stuck inside, than go for it!

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 7:29 am | Permalink
  7. I helped build a similar playground in 9th grade. It’s still there to this day. A plain-jane playground is fine, but seeing a towering maze-like structure is akin to hearing the tunes of the pied piper. It beckons all ages to explore and forget about everything for a bit.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 8:28 am | Permalink
  8. cirrin wrote:

    That’s great.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  9. Absinthe wrote:

    I’m definitely down for swings at any age! I’m 20 now and all I can think about is how amazing that castle looks to play in.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  10. i am 25 and i want to play in that castle right now.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  11. timmcdivitt wrote:

    jack: just so sound like an asshole: actually a the recipe for most pressure treated lumber was changed a few years ago to something a little safer.

    that’s a really nice picture.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  12. House Frau wrote:

    At 33 I still get on the swings in my backyard with my kids, one of the perks of being a mom.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  13. chrissy wrote:

    im sorry you left iam, i am for the final time. i was really rooting for you.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  14. MissSio wrote:

    Yeah but Jack unless the kids are chewing on the wood…? In which case where are their parents? When they tore down the one wooden playground here where I am now, it was because of splinters. Therefore I assume my childhood one was torn down for the same reasons. Plastic is less likely to splinter, but where are the childhood early experiences in accidental piercing now? Ahh… the pussification of today’s youth… heh. ;)

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  15. Larry wrote:

    That’s actually a fairly new playground- made out of “safe stuff”

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  16. wlfdrgn wrote:

    Hey, castles are fun!

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  17. Laura wrote:

    That is the coolest playground I have ever seen.

    My childhood playground was just a bunch of metal climbing things. I don’t know how many concussions that place saw. It was torn down and replaced with a garden/sitting area.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  18. Opticon wrote:

    Im 21 and i still go play on swings and slides!

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  19. Kyle wrote:

    where in the city is that ?? My nephew would love that all we got in stouffville is plastic crap. Also Shannon gotta tell ya man since your no longer on mod blog ur pretty much gonna have to put up with me on this everyday. lol Best of luck man !

    Friday, May 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  20. hawkfeather wrote:

    wow that is an AWESOME castle. I found these the other day..
    And I think we will take my daughters old loft bed and make one like this- cause castles rock. I dunno about the barbie pink though.

    the wooden playground one is special.. all kids need to be lost in a fairy tale here and there.
    and obviously so do we.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 1:08 am | Permalink
  21. MissJanet wrote:

    Wow, I hwve not seen a castle like this over here in germany. Looks like fun.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 8:49 am | Permalink
  22. opiate wrote:

    dude, im 26 and i still have conversations that go pretty well exactly like that. And to be honest, I really want to play in that castle as well =P

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  23. Larry wrote:

    It’s in High Park…behind the zoo kind of…sorry to be taking over direction giving…i love that park…and i’m “too old”…

    Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  24. frzamonkey wrote:

    i love playing on swingsets and jungle gyms, etc.

    i think a adult sized discovery zone/ chuck e cheese (with ball pits, etc.) would be a hit. like dave and busters, with a softplay area.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  25. controlbroke wrote:

    I am 28. me and my freinds still play on the swings, its awesome. when did it become strange to keep enjoying simple things?

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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