Note to Self: Remembering Childhood
Winters with warm chocolate, pristine snow fall.
Mounds of light white masses formed to snowmen, forts and tunnels.
With the winter came ice and skating, sledding on shimmering frozen flats of water, rosy cheeks and soft homemade mittens.
We never knew of heating bills, utility payments or the frantic search for milk before a predicted storm.
Never paused to consider water usage, a gas meter or if tonight we should leave the taps to drip so pipes didn’t freeze. Emergency candles automatically appeared and a game of flashlight tag would erupt if ever the electricity had failed.
There were nights of blanket covered knees and fuzzy slippers. Fresh cookies that warmed up our bellies and kept the kitchen too tantalizing to stay out of.
In spring there was mud; mud pies, mud speckled boots and warnings to stay off the carpet. If ever there was a time for throwing aside our coats and running with the wind it was spring.
We had no care or concern for the cost of laundry detergent, how to get our whites their whitest, or how many loads of wash needed to be done in one day.
Grab a loaf of bread to feed the birds. Rivers ran along the sidewalk and into the driveway the left over memory of previously frozen snow.
Flat tires due to the abrupt change in the weather, erosion in the basement, how to get up on the roof top to replace the shingles; none of it was ever a thought.
Oh the battle we’d fight to keep our favorite sweater but it was always exchanged for some cheesy new outfit come Easter.
Spring cleaning consisted of finding the missing toys we forgot we played with under our beds.
As the air heats soft serve ice cream shops open with bicycle trips to neighborhood parks and sun visors.
Suddenly sand from a weekend beach day is in everything you own.
An Ice cream truck jingle is heard blocks away as we’d run to find grandma as fast as we can, with visions of her change purse and the sweetest of smiles.
Bouncing balls against pavement, sides of houses in alleys, against walls and ceilings til someone yells “What is that noise?”
In a field learning baseball, trying your first glove, tipping Frisbee’s, can’t hold a football but by next year maybe your fingers will be long enough,
Asking night after night if I friend can sleep over, with no concept of how long the days are and who has to wake up for work in the morning.
Knowing it’s cooler in the house, but never seeing the electric bill after the air conditioner has been pumping from morning til dawn.
The first time you can see your breath in the cool air excitement builds for snow to come. The blankets return to first become tents propped with furniture.
New clothes for the first day of school, thermos of chicken noodle soup and a new lunchbox with the latest cartoon characters painted on the cover.
Trees full of endless pallets of color. Carpets of leaves that crack when stepped on, to jump in or stuff into your friend’s shirt.
Picking, digging, clipping, sorting, washing, chopping, boiling, freezing and canning made for marmalade on warm buttered buns and fresh dilled pickles to sneak from the kitchen.
All the preparations made to the Mason jar with a homemade label that appeared upon the pantry shelf was never considered.
The cost of school clothes fitting into the budget or how to shuffle a work schedule to drop us off for school was not mentioned.
The anticipation of county fairs made for bouncing on beds and digging into the penny jar. Stomach wrenching rides after a heaping mound of greasy fries and cotton candy were too thrilling to pass by and not beg to be tall enough.
The smell of fried dough and voices echoing in the air guessing your weight or fortune turned the carnival into a strange world only meant to visit. Take a chance at the prized stuffed animal bigger than a mountain with your very last dollar, sensory overload at its finest.
These are memories life is built on, the cares of life follow shortly after. Oh but to remember childhood in its wonder makes the responsibility of adulthood a bit easier to carry.
A joint effort by C.Costantino and J. Emond