8 Rites of Passage for Every Kid Who Grew Up in Alabama
1. Going “muddin’.”
I am fully aware of how lame it sounds to ride a four-wheeler through a field of mud, but I’ll vouch for it. The gooey mud creates the perfect slippery surface for doing donuts, and spraying your friends in the face while hosing them off outside is totally fun. Even if we only did it once, we’ve all done it.
2. Spending Fourth of July weekend at the lake.
Year after year, on the fourth of July, Alabamians flock to the nearest body of water for a weekend of grilling and relaxing. Whether it’s Smith Lake, Lake Martin, or any of our other fine swimming holes, we were on the water all day long lying in a floatie. We also thought it was really cool to ride sea-doo’s to the other side of the lake to meet up with our classmates, and occasionally, we would race.
3. Hanging with friends at Vacation Bible School.
We would always complain to our parents about going to VBS, but truth be told, this was one of the highlights of the summer. Not that much had happened during the month that we were out of school, but we couldn’t WAIT to see our friends and fill them in on our lives. For a whole week, we met up in church, sang songs, had lots of snacks, and just had fun. Ah, times were so simple then.
4. Evading the paddle.
When I was in school, if we misbehaved, we would get paddled by our teachers, and it was the worst. You’ll make up any excuse when you try to talk your way out of it, and sometimes it works, and you can trade your terrible behavior for a day of in-school suspension. If you’re me, you’ll be caught chewing gum in class for the third time, and you’ll simply say “No, thanks.” The worst, guys.
5. Attending your first college football game.
This. This is an experience. The stadium is completely packed, everyone is dressed in team gear, and good Lord, it is the loudest place on Earth. We couldn’t hear for a week afterward – it was great.
6. Shooting a gun.
Sometimes it’s shooting at some cans, sometimes it’s shooting an animal, either way, we all learned to shoot a gun at a young age. We also all remember that second-day shoulder pain, because we were totally unprepared for the kickback.
7. Being made fun of for being from Alabama.
Yea, yea. The first time kind of stings, but then we get to learn lots of cool comebacks. It gets easier as we get older.
8. Participating in illegal activity before age 16.
Admit it, we all had a friend whose parents had an empty trailer near their house, and we would all get drunk there on the weekends. We may or may not have tried a muscle relaxer, only to find out that it wasn’t our thing. If you considered yourself to be a “good kid” who didn’t do these things, then you definitely at least stole something. We were all small-town kids looking for some fun, no judgment here!