When I sit and look back at my life, it strikes me that it is somewhat similar to a Woody Allen movie (whom I loathe) that has been spliced with Seinfeld and Friends.
I remember being really little and looking up at my mom thinking that she must be a movie star. She was so pretty. And her wardrobe was vast and sparkly - not to mention she owned a shoe collection Imelda Marcos would have envied. I remember sitting and watching her do her hair and make up and wondering if I would ever be able to emulate her.
When I was a kid I had really long hair. I could sit on it. And I had spindly legs and arms with really long skinny fingers. I sort of felt like a spider. I used to try on her shoes and even though I was aiming for feeling glamorous, I only succeeded in feeling desperately awkward. I always felt awkward as a child. Right into my young adulthood. The things that made me feel awkward then are the things I miss the most now.
Childhood memories are so strange. Some of the things etched deeply into our minds are things that make sense to remember, while others seem not to belong. Random memories that take up space and don't seem to have much of a reason to be there - yet there they are mixed in with all those life altering events. Some sad, some full of happy.
I remember attending my Grandfather's funeral. I was 9. I remember trying to come to terms with what my parents were telling me; that that was my Grandpa in there... that it was okay - I could touch him. I remember placing my hand on his in the coffin and knowing without a doubt that this was not my Grandpa anymore. I remember thinking he looked too thin and too still, and that his hair was far too neat - and that he was in a box. The other thing was, the lack of his booming presence was leaving a black hole in the room. Nope. That wasn't Grandpa. He was gone and everyone in the room was so sad. People kept telling me how sorry they were - nobody could possibly understand how sorry I was. I really loved him. I miss him. Especially in spring when the wild violets bloom.
I also remember hiding gum in the green shag carpet that lived on my bedroom floor. It seemed to just become absorbed into the floor never to be seen again. Like magic. I had a magic floor. I loved my magic floor and the room it lived in. I remember all of the details of that room, from the old glass that rattled in the window to the closet with a stairway to the attic. Clearly a stairway to another world. It was, after all, a magic room. There was also a magic tree in the backyard - it had a hole in it. You could hide your hot dogs in there and they would magically disappear. Poof. (remember the carnivorous squirrels... that, my friends, is where it all began).
I remember playing in that back yard for hours and hours - coming in for dinner and then going back outside until dark and we were called in to go to sleep. Lazy summer days. The hum of the big box fan blowing in the window sill and the sound of crickets singing were summer to me.
In the winter, I remember getting so much snow that we could tunnel through the entire backyard and I don't remember ever getting cold. I remember coming inside and getting hot chocolate. I remember when my mom helped us make candles with crayons, ice cubes and an old milk carton. Treasures that we made for Christmas gifts. I remember Christmas crafts - horrible little creations made of macaroni and spray paint that were supposed to look like the three kings. I even remember having whooping cough and being so desperate to go to school that I pretended to feel better, got dressed for school and promptly had a coughing fit that caused me to vomit on the coffee table - a table that now sits in my living room - very much devoid of vomit... but if tables could talk...lol. My mom made me stay home. I was heart broken.
I remember the bird bath fascinating me for hours. I remember making mud pies, building forts made out of blankets and broom sticks that could transport you to another world.
Though I agree that childhoods really are what you spend your life getting over - (Hope Floats - great movie) - there are still times I would like nothing more than to watch gum magically disappear into my carpet and not have to worry about anything grown up. Just for a moment.
I think I'm going to go build a fort...
OH - and in totally unrelated news - I burned my bottom at the tanning salon yesterday. It smarts. (Please refrain from telling me how bad it is to go there - I know... I only go once a week - helps get rid of February blahs...)