Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Gift of Time

Childhood memories...just the term itself conjures up images of children snuggling into their parents laps for storytime. Or maybe little miniature marshmallows floating on top of steaming mugs of hot chocolate (as the Nestle or Swiss Miss jingle begins to play). Don't get me wrong, these are also the kind of things I want to share with my kids, but when I stop and think about it, are those the things that I really remember from my younger days?

I will be the first to admit that I had a great childhood. Aside from a few, shall we say, heated disagreements with my folks or brothers and sisters, everyone got along pretty well. That's not a small feat for a family as large as ours. I'm the youngest of 6 kids; please don't call me "The Baby"- I might just start to cry and go tell on you. While I remember there being financial struggles, I don't remember feeling like we were poor - except for the time when my mom and dad promised I could join the bowling league when I was 6 and I had to wait until I was 7 because my dad lost his job that year. As an adult, I realize that my reaction to this news was somewhat, well, childish. But I was crushed! I mean, it wasn't my fault that my dad lost his job. I wanted to bowl!! My parents and I have since moved on and new enjoy weekly bowling excursions - Dad watches as Mom and I bowl our hearts out in a women's league.

Anyway, most of my vivid childhood memories involve injury and humiliation - and I am grateful for that. When my brother threw a dart at my leg because I insisted on standing in front of the dartboard in the middle of a game, that taught me the importance of following directions. When I asked my sister for makeup help, she told me to close my eyes and that she would do it for me. When I opened my eyes and realized that she had covered my entire face in several layers of blush, that taught me to consider the consequences of my actions. When I got hit in the stomach with a softball, that taught me to always pay attention to what's going on around me. I could go on and on.

These are the things that I want for my kids. Stories and memories that they can look back on as adults and hopefully laugh at (and then share with anyone who is willing to listen). I want them to know that no matter how unfunny something seems at the time (seriously, who puts blush all over someone's face??), that all it takes is a little time and perspective to make them realize that childhood is FUN.

For more other bloggers' takes on childhood memories, check out Scribbit's March Write-Away Contest .

4 reviews:

Beth said...

This is great, did you know I have five brothers and sisters? What a thing to have in common! Although, I'm the second youngest, not quite "the baby!" (I tortured "the baby.") Great post!

Margaret said...

Great story. Brings back many memories of me and my brother and the "lessons" he taught me. Ouch.

soccer mom in denial said...

I am all for childhood memories having some "ouch" to them. I'm certainly doing my part to ensure my children have some of those.

Great piece.

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

I wanted you to know, Miss Thea, that you did a great joy with this story!!!