Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Five things you miss about childhood


1. Tap dancing on a rolled piece of linoleum. I would line up mydolls for dance lessons and play Sesame Street's disco. My favoritewas the "Disco Frog" (Ribbit, ribbit!) or "I lost my Cookie at theDisco." The annoying thing was when the linoleum would keep rollingback up. My mom hated that I danced on her kitchen floor so my momand dad thought the piece of linloeum would help. Although, itsufficed it didn't make the same tapping sounds I enjoyed.

2. Pretending I was John's girlfriend from C.H.I.P's as I rode myblue bicycle around the block. I swore my bike looked just liketheir motorcyles. I also liked to pretend I was Daisy Duke hoppingonto my bike like it was the General Lee. They really should havelet her drive more often. I really miss being able to ride my bikefor hours without getting tired.

3. My friends and I would make up plays to show the neighbors. Wewould then convince them to buy dandilions and popcorn during theintermission. Poor neighbors. We were pretty awful!

4. Spending summers on Cape Cod with my grandparents and uncle. Myuncle always had a cool new house with a special room for my sisterand I. We had so many adventures, from being stars on Little Housein the Prairie to orphans who had to clean the house like in themovie Annie.

5. I liked not having to think about food, house, car, etc. It waseaiser to just be.Can you tell I am bored at work?


1) The sand box (aside from the neighborhood cats reminding us thatthey had stopped by.) My older brother had the best Match Box carset and we would make roads for them to drive on. When I say roads,I should really clarify; they were super mass transit systems thatengineers from Boston's Big Dig stole many ideas from.

2) Halloween. Mom made us the best costumes. Most of them were fromStar Wars. But when my uncle brought over the top of his Legg Eggdisplay from his 7-11 store, and mom made me the R2-D2 costume thatwon ever contest that year… good times.

3) My world was four blocks long and eight blocks deep. School waswalking distance, church was across the street from school, allthree grandparents were five blocks away, and everyone I knew was ajust a bike ride down an oil slicked unpaved street. I had no ideathere was anything outside of that before the age of seven.Ignorance is bliss.

4) Lunch boxes. Oh – I suppose I could still carry one. But really,who at work would take me seriously? I never had the best lunch box,there were so many great ones based on television characters andmovies, I did have my brothers old Fat Albert for a little while. Afew years ago I received a Pac-Man collectable lunch box.

5) Vacation Trips. In the original configuration of the family unit,trips were going up north to the cottage. In the laterconfigurations, trips were several days of back seat bickering withthe additional siblings trying to count the number of "See RockCity" or "See Ruby Falls" signs on the way to Disney or the Cape.


1. I miss my bedroom. Sure, it's still there, but now it's more astorage facility for all the stuff my sister takes with her tocollege. All of the good stuff from my childhood has been packedaway or shifted to different places. I remember reading while lyingon my bed with both windows open, listening to the birds andsmelling the lilacs from the side yard while my Debbie Gibsoncassette tape plays from my boom box. My walls are a subtle shade ofpink, and every corner of the room is stuffed with memories.

2. I miss shopping for school supplies in the fall. There'ssomething about the promise of new pencils and binders. (Can youtell I'm a teacher?) I used to have red plastic pencil boxes, andzippered pouches for my pens and pencils, and new binders. And yesPaul, lunchboxes are awesome. Ask Jeff.

3. I miss my roller skates. It's an odd thing to miss, but I had agreat time with them. I inherited from them my uncle, so they werethe old kind that you had to fit over your shoes. They had metalbraces and metal wheels with leather straps. They looked like somesort of ancient foot torture device instead of a child's toy. Theywere great on the concrete floor of my basement.

4. I miss climbing trees. I LOVED climbing trees! I only fell onceor twice. As you know, I'm pretty short, so I delighted in lookingdown from on high.

5. I miss quality children's television. Remember the Smurfs?Fraggle Rock? Snorks? Rainbow Brite? Care Bears? He-Man,She-Ra,G.I.Joe, Transformers, and Thundercats? We didn't have a dopeypurple dinosaur, 5 crazy Aussies calling themselves the Wiggles, orthings called Teletubbies that anger Jerry Falwell.


1. Camp Sarah Grinley - For those of you who remember, trips to SarahGrinley with the families of the First United Presbyterian Church (it willnever be "Star Presbyterian" in my mind) was an annual thing. I loved thescary stories of Sarah Grinley's dead body in the freezer that my brotherTim or Bill Collins would tell, the cast iron pan we would bang in themorning to wake all of those who thought they could sleep in and skipbreakfast, the smores on the last night - made better with the Hershey Bar"awards" we received for any unusually noticeable behavior, singing songsaround the fire, swimming in the lake.

2. The Christmas morning walk down the stairs - On Christmas eve, mysister, brothers and I received 2 gifts. One was a new outfit to wear tochurch and Grandma's house and the second was a new pair of pajamas. OnChristmas morning we had to wait at the top of the stairs, clad in our newpj's, waiting for my Dad to go to the bottom and take a picture of the fourof us as we came down to the presents awaiting us left by Santa. Over theyears, as we all moved out, our number on the stairs dwindled, but Iremember that feeling of anticipation at the top of the stairs waiting forChristmas morning to start.

3. The exhilaration of the last day of school and the start of summervacation - not the vacation of today where half of it is spent wonderingwhat was happening at the office, but real VACATION! No homework, fewchores, days spent swimming in the pool, riding bikes, going to the park,reading books on rainy days.

4. My Grandma's double cookies - I have the recipe, but it isn't the sameas when Grandma used to make them.

5. The newness of everything - first trip to the movies, first time I rodemy bike with out the safety of my dad's hand on the back of the seat, firstkiss stolen behind the monkey bars in 2nd grade, first "love"...

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