Today I'm remembering the games Ty and his friends made up when they were young.
Knifing - Play fighting that began with real pocket knives until the moms realized they were playing with REAL POCKET KNIVES and banned them.
Boot Camp - exactly what it sounds like. Was introduced into boy culture when Bren graduated Marine Corp boot camp. They took turns screaming at each other as they made their way through increasingly dangerous obstacles. Again the moms had to intervene when we realized they were scaling the shed.
I call the next one Avatar - they realized that the kudzu vines were thick enough to walk on. I walked outside and heard their shouts of joy. It took me a minute to realize they were about 20 feet in the air, walking on top of the kudzu-covered trees. It paralyzed me with fear and I made them get down, explaining the danger of falling on a stob or small tree and impaling themselves. They didn't tell me until years later that Ellas did fall and was scraped up by a broken tree branch. How they survived their childhoods is beyond me.
Kingdoms - a highly inventive multi-level game involving elves, warriors, etc. The currency of this game was used aluminum foil. USED foil. So the moms were enlisted to use more foil and for heaven's sake, don't throw any foil away! Weapons of imagination were encouraged. Store bought swords were lame. Sticks of perfect shape, size and weight were highly sought after and woe to the parent who found said stick and threw it away. Weapons were forged of spray paint and duct tape. Armor was fashioned of used Rubbermaid container lids and cardboard. Players completed complicated missions and quests and "leveled up". At one point this game had players in 2 states and 2 countries. Over a dozen boys would come on Friday night to play. I will occasionally still find foil coins imprinted with their Kingdoms logo and smile.
Airsoft- Not a game of their invention but I'll still count it. Gilly-suits, full face masks, $200 guns and Camo abounded in this obsession.
Then there were the standard hide and seek (in the dark), freeze tag, football, smear, and various full contact games.
I'm sure I've forgotten some
I kept unlit scented candles on my table for when they would all stream into the house for water or food and the smell... my word, the smell. We would pass the candles around to sniff to counteract the odor. It offended the boys but that couldn't be helped.
I don’t know that any of us really appreciated the awesomeness of Friday nights until later when the boys were grown and had jobs or sports events. Looking back, those were magical days.