When I think back on my childhood, there are certain things I barely remember and other memories that are very clear. I remember Mom setting out all the fixings for hot roastbeef sandwiches and the chocolate pudding she would serve in the little yellow dishes. I remember her laying my clothes on a chair outside of the oven with the door open so they would be warm when it was time for me to get dressed. I remember her bringing me in scrambled eggs and toast when I was running late for school and still doing my hair. I remember her spending Mothers Day weekends on uncomfortable bleachers at gymnastic meets that went on for grueling hours. I remember her waiting up for me on weekends to make sure I was home safe and long chats in her bed until finally I would hear her snore.
I know many who look back and only remember negative things. I believe we can only see what we choose to see. If you look for the bad, it will always be there waiting to catch your attention. But, if you remember with your heart, it will always be full.
These are different times now. I can’t help but wonder what my kids will remember when they are grown and gone. I hope I don’t spend too much time nagging and criticizing and not enough time enjoying and loving them. I hope they will remember how when they were little we would lay their sleeping bags on the floor every Friday night and eat popcorn and watch movies. I hope they remember our yearly family camp outs the short time we spent in Indiana. I hope they remember climbing trees and playing in the park and having a picnic almost every Sunday afternoon when we lived in Texas. I hope they remember playing spoons for hours and four square tournaments out in the drive way. I hope they remember that spending time with them was always our first priority.
What is your favorite childhood memory? What do you remember most?
What a chilling phrase if you really give it some thought. When we reach a certain age, society expects us to automatically become an adult. People expect much more from us than they ever had before. So much truth in 5 little words. It’s as if a particular day is the bridge we cross that supposedly changes the way we act and provides a more responsible way to think.
We were out driving with my daughter today. My husband told her to turn left through an intersection but never saw the car coming. She just automatically followed directions. Thankfully he yelled stop forcefully enough so that she was ably to apply the break and prevent a collision. We realized that just because she is of age to hold a permit, she will not always be experienced enough to make the right decision.
I think adulthood is just like that. We start to be treated like one but really nothing has changed but a single day that fast forwards us to a new age. We don’t change, time just decides how old we are. I think we forget that experience is on going. It is life experience that tests us and teaches us how to respond. It doesn’t happen over night and it doesn’t magically occur when we turn 18.
What a sad concept to even insinuate that growing older means giving up our childhood. The older we get, I believe we realize how much better off we were when we were more like a child, when we believed in things with child like faith and loved wholeheartedly with our childish heart. And don’t even get me started on how easily the young heart forgives and moves on.
The Giver was really thought provoking and this line really stuck with me long after I stepped out of the theatre. I thought is was worth sharing with all of you. I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you feel when you hear the words “thank you for your childhood”? How does it make you feel?
Many of you know I am home visiting the place I grew up. I decided to go for a walk. At first I started to walk one way but my intuition forced me to turn around and walk the opposite direction. That is when I caught a glimpse of the rocks. I had to smile. I often blog about the rocks that used to lead my way to and from the bus stop. I was tempted to climb up but thought no and just kept walking. A memory crossed my mind of a neighbor who used to stop by and drop off juice boxes for me and my little brother. As I stared at his yard I remembered all the nights we spent there laughing while running the bases during a game of whiffle ball. I had great neighbors. I grew up believing the world was a safe place for me to explore, that neighbors and people were open and kind. I wondered what it must have been like standing at the bus stop all those years ago when I believed so many childish ideas. I believed everything would always work out. I believed that people were kind enough and their hearts were big enough to always do what is right. I believed that I could put myself out there open and vulnerable and no one would ever try and hurt or harm me.
Before I knew it I reached the end of the road. It was a turn around and I swore I could still hear our laughter as we played kickball for hours. What was once a trail to the reservoir where we would skip rocks and swing on the rope for hours was now guarded by a fence. What a parallel I thought. Over the years, just like that metal fence, places and people who were once inviting and open had become guarded. Circumstances change people. They make them hard. Their hearts become bitter and their actions become cruel. We don’t notice it so much at first because it happens gradually. But before you know it there’s a fence with a lock and a sign that reads no trespassing. And you will never get back in no matter how hard you try.
I started heading home and I realized I am still that little girl that stood at the bus stop all those years ago. My thinking and my heart and still childlike. That is my secret weapon. That is my method of survival. No matter what life throws at me or who tries break me down I will never change. I will never harden and I will always believe in good. I may have to change the direction I am looking but nothing will take away the peace I feel in my heart.
It didn’t take long to reach those rocks once again. This time I hopped on and took the old familiar route home. It’s funny, I never remember the rocks being that big, especially since I was so small. But today I noticed their size. I noticed the way they sparkled in the sun and once again I felt safe. Never lose the child inside of you. That is where love and hope survive even in your most trying times and you know what? It feels pretty good there and everyone deserves to feel that way no matter who they are.
When I read these three innocent words posted on Facebook this morning I could almost feel the panic. Who is Fluffy you ask? Let me explain.
Remember when your kids were young and they had that one special stuffed animal who could fix just about anything? Little did we know that one day that magical, furry friend would go missing and all our lives would be turned upside down.
Well, Fluffy is my nieces stuffed dog. Every time I have always visited, her last few words before she’d drift off to sleep were “I NEED fluffy”. Yes, you read that right. She didn’t only want fluffy, she needed him and in her young mind, she believed it too. So, my mom happens to be babysitting and when I saw the post to my sister-in-law asking Where Is Fluffy? I knew exactly what was going on.
Isn’t it amazing how we can become so attached to something at such a young age? I remember playing with my stuffed animals for hours on end. I loved them and they were my best friends. Not only were they terrific listeners but they were always willing to cuddle. Faithful companions who never let me down. Just this week, I walked up to my 15 year old daughters room and there was Uni sitting lovingly on her dresser. Can you guess what he is?
I guess we really never grow out of our first childhood friends. They will always be waiting in a corner somewhere waiting to be noticed and hoping to be cuddled….that is IF we don’t lose them somewhere along the way.
Did you have a favorite childhood friend? Do you remember his name? What did it look like?
When is the last time you allowed yourself to drift back to a different time? A time when your world was full of innocence and the weightlessness of feeling young and invincible lifted you off the ground until you swore you could fly?
I don’t know why but we went for a hike a few weeks ago and there was a row of boulders all lined up. As I watched my daughter jump from one to the other, I saw myself all those years ago leaping across the rocks that had become my personal path to the bus stop. Every day and every afternoon I would skip those rocks without a care in the world. When we are young we have no concept of fear. We are bold and adventurous and always searching for the most courageous way to flip off the jungle gym. But then something happens. We notice that others are watching us and we start acting according to the way they think we should behave . We trade our uniqueness for the magic token that makes us fit in. We become so consumed in what everyone thinks of us, that the very essence of who we are becomes hidden behind who people think we should be.
Sometimes it’s important to go back. Find that child that you once were and watch her from afar. Take a good look and watch her play. Watch her run and roll down a hill. Watch her act silly and giggle until her stomach hurts. Notice her freedom and the sparkle in her eyes. Reconnect and become one. You may just find that the younger version of you had it right all those years ago and the older one, neglecting her true self, made decisions that took her even further away from who she knew she could be. The truth is this. There is no magic token that will ever make you feel like you completely belong. Besides, if we were made to be the same, God would have created robots instead of people. Be proud of who you are and be different. Sometimes when you are different, you stand alone, but at least then people will notice you.