As much as I enjoy and appreciate my life as a full-fledged grown up, complete with a mortgage, a husband, and three children, I sometimes find myself longing for the simpler days of my 1970’s childhood.
Laughing so hard that milk shoots out of my nose. Sometimes I could achieve this state of hysteria with just my two sisters, but usually it only happened when we were with our male cousins.
Believing that money really does grow on trees. My parents tried to convince us that it didn’t, but they couldn’t fool me.
Thinking that opening the front door would air condition the whole neighborhood.
The fear I had whenever I made a funny face or stuck my tongue out that my mother was right and my face would really freeze that way.
Did you know that if you left all the lights on in your house you could make it look like a Christmas tree?
Laying in bed on Christmas Eve trying to go to sleep but having difficulty because I knew in only a few hours Santa was going to be at my house.
Waking up and finding a dollar under my pillow and knowing the Tooth Fairy paid me a visit.
Walking downstairs Easter morning and seeing three baskets covered in colored plastic and peeking in to see the treats the Easter Bunny left. Comparing notes with my sisters. “I got blue bubbles.” “Oh, I got pink ones.” “Do you have a bunny with a pink bow?” “Mine has a yellow ribbon.”
Not being able to wait for my birthday to come each year.
Figuring out how old my sisters and I would be when the year hit 2000. Wondering what my life would be like when I was in my old age at 35.
Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had the prettiest mom and the smartest dad in the whole wide world.
Laughing so hard at the dinner table that my parents sent me to the kitchen till I could figure out how to act like a young lady who who could eat at the White House one day. Wondering what would happen if I never figured it out. Was I doomed to a life in the kitchen?
Being pretty sure my father was only teasing me when he warned me that he would take me to live with the pigs at Eisenhower Park if I didn’t behave properly. I’m 99% positive that he wasn’t really going to make me live with the pigs the time I decided to test this theory out. But when the car pulled out of the driveway and onto the street I learned that day I was not in charge. This was comforting since I knew that at 5 I probably wasn’t ready. I figured I would have to wait till I was at least 9 or 10.
Taking pillows, piling them up, and surfing down the stairs with my sisters.
The relief I felt when when Wendy and I realized we didn’t kill our baby sister, who had the nerve to start crawling up the stairs at the same time we were surfing down.
Looking at my parents’ wedding album with my mom and sisters and wondering what my own wedding would be like someday.
Deciding with my sisters how we would each get to be a maid of honor at the others’ weddings. We also decided that whoever wasn’t the maid of honor would be the godmother to our first child. (Years later we would honor this promise.)
Watching my mom make her traditional fruit cakes each year and seeing her wrap them and put them in the attic. I knew that meant that Christmas was only a few weeks away.
Summers spent catching frogs and salamanders at my uncle’s farm in upstate New York.
Making elaborate cities out of bales of hay in my uncle’s calf barn with my sisters and four cousins. We would spend hours building and playing. We knew it was time for lunch or dinner when my grandfather’s bell signaled it was time to come home.
The times my sisters and I would try to figure out where my mom hid the eyes that she had in the back of her head. And being amazed at her super power of always knowing when we were doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing.
Waiting to see if Jesus, Mary and Joseph would come down and help my father find his keys or get the Christmas lights to work each year.
The summer my sisters and I would sing “Afternoon Delight” into the fan and swore it sounded just like the record.
Being too young to know what “Afternoon Delight” the Starland Vocal Band sang about.
Laying outside and staring up at the clouds wondering why time moved so slowly.
Now that I’m a mom I can’t help but wonder what my kids’ lists will include and look forward to seeing what memories they choose.
*This piece was originally published on the Dishwasher, October 19th, 2014 under the title, The Things I Miss from My Childhood. It has been slightly edited.