Bringing back the joy of youth

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tricycle

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

— George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever seen a Ziggle?

It is a tricycle-looking type thing for children, but it has no pedals. Movement is set in motion by wiggling, basically. The front platform where a child places his feet, along with the handlebars of the simple toy, must be manipulated with general movement, and that produces more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

The first time I ever saw a Ziggle, it was at my sister’s house. Her granddaughter, Brynn, never one to sit still, could make that thing fly in all sorts of ways.

After setting the Ziggle in motion, she would make a quick turn and do loops and spins on the concrete playing surface between the house and barn that made me laugh and shout with joy. My toes would tingle when it looked certain she would fly off of the seat, but she held on tight and did even more unbelievable twists and turns.

Grownup version

It made me want one in the worst way. I searched for one, several times, and it appeared there was no such thing for old kids.

“If they made those for grownups, I would stand in line to get one!” I told my sister. As soon as my oldest grandchild was old enough to grasp movement, I got him one, and I could watch him wiggle that little vehicle into high-speed fun for hours.

Santa heard my repeated plea, and evidently put his elves on the mission. Under the tree, this past holiday season was a grown-up version of the Ziggle just for me. And man is it fun. And more difficult than I imagined it would be.

Going downhill and making tight circular spins is more fun than I’ve had in a very long time, but getting back up the slight incline makes this old granny work hard to get back to the starting line. It is worth every bit of effort.

Memories

It brings back memories of our bicycle and pedal tractor parades with cousins and neighbor kids, riding up and down the sidewalk and around the stone driveway. There was one fairly pronounced drop-off where I would imagine old sidewalk met new, and it could jar your teeth if you hit it just wrong.

That didn’t squash any of the fun. Heck, it became a thrilling challenge, hoping to pop a wheelie.

Today, I watch my great-niece and nephew and grandkids having fun on spiffy new contraptions that can fly like the wind in comparison to our 2-ton-Tillie pedal tractors from my olden days, and it makes me smile with such joy to see the happiness in their little faces.

If you have a little bit of kid left in you, I highly recommend you search for a Ziggle. It will bring the joy of youth right back to you. Well, at least until you wake up in the morning …

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.

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