Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I miss my childhood, sometimes, when adult life weighs heavily upon me, the constant needs of others, mostly my children, threatening to drag me under. 

When I am on hands and knees cleaning up a bathroom floor thoroughly splattered in one son’s vomit while my other son calls out to me complaining of the smell, begging me to come to him because he does not want to lie alone in the odoriferous dark.

I miss my childhood most when I am ill, yet still taking care of little people, instead of being tucked into bed myself, steam from the bowl of chicken soup my mother has carefully placed on the rickety metal folding table wafting up, salty pretzels and ginger ale rounding out the prescriptive meal for a nasty strep throat.

What I miss from my childhood are moments: running wild in the Daktari sandpits with my cousins; bouncing on my bed for hours with a friend while eating dot candy;  crashing through the waves with my father at Jones Beach on a hot summers day; sitting, mesmerized by the fireplace at Sacks Lodge on a frigid winter night; falling asleep in the back seat of a long drive home, my head in my mother’s lap, breathing in her Shalimar and the night air; my first real kiss.

And also the era.

My childhood is the 60’s. 

I turned 8 and 9, those seminal kid years, in 1968 and 1969; years which were also seminal to modern culture, when so much changed, happened, emerged, transformed: Woodstock, the assassinations (MLK, RFK), moon landing, Laugh-in, the Tet Offensive, Prague Spring, Andy Warhol, heart transplants, Charles Manson, the Chicago Seven, The Beatles, UNIX, bell bottoms, Sesame Street…

An era I have layers upon layers of thoughts and feelings about. My now adult understanding of it above all, but underneath?  That childhood glow surrounding times lived through, golden and suffused throughout, the images crystalline, sharp-edged while simultaneously encased in amber.

I miss my childhood, sometimes, but there is mostly so much I am glad to have broken free of, from my childhood.

Do not get me wrong, my childhood was not doom and gloom. There were certainly many joys; there were those thousand brilliant moments; there was laying in fields of wildflowers baking in the sun; lobster birthday dinners eaten with hedonistic abandon; I was - and knew I was - well loved by my gentle parents.

But what I do not miss is my childhood self: anxious, awkward, isolated, painfully shy, over-sensitive (SPD), easily overwhelmed, un-centered, uncomfortable in her own skin, cocooned in fantasy, brilliant but clueless.

That is not me now, has not been me for so long I must cast far to remember it.

I miss my childhood, sometimes.

But mostly I revel in my children’s childhood.

Creating the memories with them that they will suffuse with their own golden glow upon recollection; me the mother, whose Tea Rose they will breathe in with the night air as we travel the long way home from our adventures.

This post was inspired by a prompt at Write on Edge (formerly The Red Dress Club). This week's RemembeRED assignment was to write a post beginning with the phrase: ”I miss my childhood".
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