Wednesday, June 22, 2005


"What 5 things do you miss most about your childhood?" I got tagged by Craz4acop and now I'm strolling right down Memory Lane. You know Memory Lane intersects with Nostagia Avenue. Probably not the best choice for me to take off walking down those two, headed toward Reminiscence Boulevard today with the tears and the whining and the funk I'm in, but hey, she tagged me and well, I can't ignore a good tag.

1. Playground games.
Kickball - Standing on the diamond yelling out rules then hollering "1984 (or whatever year) padlock!! No takebacks!" I really sucked at kickball, but I still miss being on the playground while a game was going on.
Jump rope - My gosh, we had 40 gazillion different songs and chants to sing while we jumped. "Cinderella dressed in yella", "Candy apples on a stick" and "Not last night but the night before". We tried double dutch when that was the craze, but we were all too white.
Dodge ball - I remember lining up against the south wall of the old elementary building and voluntarily letting someone throw a ball at me. That was grand fun. I was rarely ever one of the last ones and usually that was only when my "boyfriend" was the thrower.
Those hand clapping/slapping games - Where you and your bestest friend ever hold your hands one up, one down then you proceded to clap the other's hand then clap your own and you chant some little rhyme. Ooh and when we all learned "Bo Bo" - we were so damn cool. Gosh, I can remember going in from recess with red hands, giggling and still chanting "Bo bo say otten totten/ah ah say boom boom boom boom/itty bitty otten totten bo bo say otten totten/itty bitty otten totten boom!" It made no sense but it didn't have to.

2. Being a country kid.
I'm now a country grownup and I have three country kids, but it's not the same world. I can remember getting up, scarfing down breakfast and heading down the driveway and down the road on my bike (with a banana seat, no less) and staying gone till our growling tummies led us back to someone's house. DeLisa and I would spend all day riding our bikes down the big hill, coasting all the way down, hands off the handlebars, wind hitting our faces and we'd squeal and laugh like that was the best thing ever. Then we'd explore the woods and swing on the grape vine and bury time capsules. That was back before we were aware that child predators existed. We didn't wear 45 SPF. We didn't have cell phones or even walkie talkies to keep in contact with our parents. If we'd had walkie talkies we'd have used them to communicate with each other anyway. We didn't carry bottled water - we risked dehydration on hot Oklahoma summer days. We didn't wear bug repellent and if we did get annoyed with mosquitos we just spritzed on some Avon Skin So Soft because that's what everyone used. We had no fear of our world. Now, I don't let my kids go past the halfway point on our driveway. They carry their water bottles outside for a morning or afternoon of play. They don't walk out that front door unless their little bodies are slathered in at least an SPF 45. They know about "private body" and stranger danger and they run to the front porch if a car even comes down the road. I guess I've made them a little cautious, but then again, I've become a bit cautious myself.

3. My girlfriends
We were a close-knit group of girls. The number ranged from 5 and up, but usually it was the five of us: Stacie, Necia, DeLisa, Chloe and me. We did EVerything together! There were countless slumber parties watching scary movies and drinking out of baby bottles. (Yeah, we were nerds.) We would dress up in "glam" outfits, wear outlandish makeup and take oodles of pictures. Once we did a video the mimicked Wayne's World and even did a workout video that made fun of Richard Simmons. We did lip syncs and just recorded utter nonsense on those tapes. We cried together, we laughed together, we dealt with death and breakups, bad grades, crappy teachers, and we also had tons of fights, arguments and misunderstandings. As we got older we didn't hang around as much together. Our numbers grew and sometimes fell. We got other friends, we got boyfriends and they consumed our time. A few of us had fallings out - serious ones - that kept us from talking to each other for years. There are still several of those girls that I am close to, others I am not. Some I could call up tomorrow and visit for hours like we'd never spent time apart. Others . . . well, the conversation would be uneasy and strained. They were a crucial part of growing up and I love them all and the memories they gave me. I miss the giggling and the silliness and the just being with a group of friends that you could totally be yourself with.

4. Being in love
There is no love like your first. There is also no love like the love you experience when you're a kid. In elementary school it's shy and unsure. You hold hands and your heart hammers like it's going to explode. You want to kiss, but you're unsure as to whether it will amazing or gross. You write notes that say, "Will you go with me. Check yes or no," and others that say, "I quit you. I am sorry." It's innocent and cute and memorable. Then as you get hormones it changes to a little bit more of an intense thing. You still feel like you're going to explode when he holds your hand, but you don't think kissing is gross anymore. (Unless he's the kind that thinks more tongue is better. Then it's gross. Period.) You spend hours writing your name with his last name in the back of your Chemistry notebook, you write love letter upon love letter then tear most of them up, you think you're really going to spend the rest of your life with this guy and stay endlessly in love with him forever and you'll have perfect, beautiful children and life will be perfect. It's all-consuming, intense and love in it's purest form. Oh, to spend a few hours in love like that again.

5. Having so very little to worry about
When you're a kid you take for granted the security and protection your parents provide. You just know they're going to be there - and they are. You know they will keep you fed, sheltered and clothed. You know that they will pick up the pieces of a broken heart, they will take care of you when you are sick, they will mediate for you when a teacher is unfair, they support you when you're unsure of yourself, they supply you with money for concession stands, movies and library fines even when they really don't have it and they love you uncondtionally. You are taken care of. No worrying about homeowners insurance and if you got the best rate, no wondering if those last ten diapers will get you through payday, no sitting up all night long with a croupy kid watching them breathe, no crying over the bully that picks on your son, no heartwrenching feeling of watching your child get on that schoolbus the very first time, no wondering if your husband still finds you sexy, no arguing about bills and the lack of money to pay them, no endless piles of laundry. You have no idea what adulthood will bring.

Innocence and ignorance . . . those were the days.

I'm tagging:
Irish Divinity
Mrs. Coach
Karbon Kounty Moos
Granny Glenn (Everyone say hi to Aunt Granny! She's new and she's my aunt!)
Jersey Girl
Crazy Mom
Brady's Mom
and finally Hillbilly Mom!

I don't care if it's more than the traditional three or five. I'm tagging who I want, dadgummit.

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