The days of macramé and Girl Scout lanyards were good for me. High grasses next to the river became braided rugs in my play areas. From low tree branches I hung hippie walls of long strands of grass with shell and rock "love beads". I tucked in flowers and wore flower leis and headdresses. I moved in some boulders and logs for furniture, then made woven mats for cushions.
You know, now I'm starting to think about all that criticism I used to get about being too much of a tomboy and I'm wondering how many tomboys put that much effort into nesting and decorating? I guess I never liked being frilly. My mom spent a lot of time making a white and pink dress full of ruffles, lace, and rick rack. I told her I hated it and didn't want so much fluff, but she was bound and determined to make the horrid thing. I wore it to church exactly once. I'm sure I looked adorable.
Mom cried, and Dad told her to look at the kid she actually had and dress me accordingly. I got swatted for leaving my church shoes at the river, but I figured that was a small price to pay to banish pink rick rack from my life. Plus, I got my first pair of shorts as a result, but to tell the absolute truth, I ditched even those when I was playing by myself in the woods.
I'm pretty sure that there aren't many kids who got to run around with such complete abandon then, and real sure even less of us today. But still... someday I'm going to be an old lady and smile to myself about the feel of water and mud between my toes and a summer breeze tickling me through the pines while I laid on my braided grass rug and watched a lady bug and ate pilfered fruit from the neighbor's orchard.
I don't mean to be insensitive, but I often think that all they need to do is quit being afraid of that stuff. According to livescience.com, the top 10 fears are: snakes, spiders, elevators, people, heights, dark, thunder and lightning, flying, dogs, and the dentist. Really now, only 1 of those is actually scary, and what could possess people to be afraid of dogs?
I've played with many snakes and here's the truth -- most of them won't bite you unless you stick your finger in their mouth. This is a truth that I learned by trial and error, and even bitten, it didn't really hurt very much. That's kind of the point. If you get out and try things you'll find out that things don't hurt as bad as you fear.