I love my scars. They tell me I’ve lived a life that was outside, away from the television/computers and that I know how not to hurt myself. I find new ways to do that anyway, but at least I don’t repeat my mistakes a second or third time. Most children today don’t get to have the kind of childhood I was given.
Whenever I was told to get out of my mother’s sight, it was like a gift had been given. It felt like freedom every time I annoyed my mother to the point were she gave me her “get away from me or your grounded look”, pointed at the door and you just knew it was permission to go outside. Out side. Those two words were magic. Outside meant you could yell, shout, cheer and generally be obnoxious and no one was going to yell at you. Outside meant you could play a pick up game of baseball with all the neighborhood kids in less than an hour behind the church on the ball field or ride your bike up to the corner store and get an ice cream bar if you were lucky enough to get an allowance.
A typical day during my summer would go like this:
7:30am- wake up, grab breakfast
8:00am – watch early morning cartoons
10:00am – out the door, mom yelling at me to make sure I came back at noon for lunch or I’d get no lunch.
10:30am – noon – play whatever random game my brother and I came up with, this usually involved in one or both of us getting scraped up and ending up in a ditch, out of breath and hiding from the neighborhood bully.
noon – 2:00pm – Lunch, new scrapes cleaned up and mom enforced nap.
2:30pm -5:30pm – more playing, usually involving the neighborhood kids and baseball or a game of tag/cops and robbers/dodgeball.
5:45pm – Dinner with Mom, Dad, my brother and whomever else was over. My mother often said that her house felt like it was being overrun with kids she didn’t know.
6:30 – 8:30pm – More outside time, usually this was flashlight tag or if it was fall, Mom and Dad would call the fire department for a permit to burn and we’d have a fire pit with smores and family time.
9:30 pm – bed time. No exceptions.
This was the norm until dad brought home something from work. Something we’d never seen before and it changed my life. Dad brought home a Macintosh computer. I was eleven. My brother and I would spend hours at the computer, usually having to be chased off so that my father could use it and we’d sit there watching Dad work; so that we too could use it just like him. We had no reason to expect that this would begin a life long love affair with computers, not just Macintosh and Apple. While we could never afford another Apple computer, the fact that it was our first was something I’ll never forget. I learned how to navigate with and without the keyboard short cuts and mouse, I learned how to play video games, how to work Windows 3.5, and how just having a computer in the house made me cool.
Kids growing up today will never know what it’s like not to be connected to the internet, how to play outside with other kids unless they’re being forced to by having their computers, cell phones, iPods being taken away. While I love my computer, my iPhone and my iPod; I can put them down for hours and sometimes days at a time.
With the news last night of Steve Jobs death, it hit me like a sledge-hammer. One of my heroes was gone. Just gone. My chest felt tight and while I did not cry, I had this over whelming feeling of sadness. Here was a man who had been with me my whole life and he left this world without finishing his opus at Apple. We all knew he had more to do with Apple and we’re all sad and have this feeling of some how being cheated that we won’t get to see what he’ll come up with next. For many of us, Steve Jobs was Apple. There will never be another human on this planet that’s exactly like Steve. For this I’m actually grateful. Why? Because who wants another Steve Jobs to take away the meaning of his legacy at Apple? Steve wouldn’t have wanted someone to be just like him, he would have wanted another innovator to take what he made and make it better; to make it bigger.
His death will just be another cut that will heal and scar on my heart; making it one of the best scars that are unseen.