Monday, July 25, 2005

Tagged

I was tagged last month by Kris at Random Mentality for this same game. However, due to some computer problems, I never got around to doing it. Last week Popeye tagged me again, so I’ve finally gotten on the ball. The deed is done.

5 Things I Miss From Being a Kid

My childhood was mostly very very confusing. I had undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. This meant that I never felt like anything made any sense, and almost everyone around me couldn’t make much sense of me either. However, despite the confusion and frequent frustration, there are things I miss about being a kid.

ONE:
I miss being bare-foot and naked nearly all summer long. There was an unspoken rule at our house. Once school let out, we no longer had to wear shoes except to church. Clothes were virtually optional as well. We changed from pajamas to swimsuits to pajamas. My parents must have loved not having as much laundry to do. Back then parents didn’t worry as much about the dangers of the outdoors either. They didn’t freak out if we stepped on a piece of glass or a splinter. It was just the normal stuff that happens to kids who play hard. They responded appropriately by kissing away our tears, digging out the injurious assailant, patching us up and promising we’d forget all about it by the time we got married. They didn’t worry about sun block either. No one did. Tanning lotion was for teenagers who baked their bodies on the beach all day. It smelled like coconuts and pineapple. It wasn’t for kids playing pirates in the back yard. Besides, it wasn’t all that necessary. The ozone was still intact. We were healthy half-naked, tan little kidlets.

Going back to school in the fall was torture. A telltale sign that a kid has ADD is their discomfort with clothes. Anything that binds or scratches or feels the least bit uncomfortable can be overwhelmingly distracting. It’s simply not possible to learn your multiplication tables when your Mom made you wear itchy socks.

TWO:
I miss the uninhibited imagination I had when I was a kid. I believed in Santa and monsters and the possibility that a Doctor named Doolittle could talk to the animals. I believed my uncle when he told me about the Peanutbutter Monster. I even believed that if I was clever and sneaky I could save my family from being eaten by the Peanutbutter Monster.

I smuggled my uncle’s magic Peanutbutter Monster stick home in my suitcase. Then I carefully spread peanutbutter on the wall of my bedroom so that when the Peanutbutter Monster came to lick it off in the night, I could sneak up behind him and get em’. For the life of me, I still don’t understand why my Mother was so upset about the stain on the wall. What’s a little stain when the lives of your loved ones hang in the balance?

I spent most of my childhood daydreaming, reading and playing. Sometimes I got in trouble for it because I was supposed to be doing other things. It was out of my control. My brain wouldn’t stop working that way. I still daydream, and I have a lot of trouble staying on task, however reality has set in. My imaginings are mostly limited to things that are possible. Magic and monsters rarely enters into my dreams any longer.

THREE:
Animals were a huge part of my life when I was a child. I always had a dog and a cat. I also had rabbits, dozens sometimes. I had guinea pigs, ducks, hamsters and one time my Grandpa gave me a calf to watch after for the summer. I named him Ferdinand. After that, there was no possible way a slice of veal would ever pass my lips. I miss is the intense connection to animals that I had when I was a kid.

When I was nine, I had a Shetland Sheepdog named Laddie. He was smart as hell and a blast to play with. That summer, when we went on vacation, my parents wouldn’t let me bring him along. He had to stay with friends instead. While we were away he was hit by a car and died. I was devastated. I was morose and depressed for months. The only books I read were books about dogs. I drew pictures of him and sat around moping as if my best friend had died … because he did. Eventually I began to come around. That was when my parents decided that I was ready for a new dog.

I walked in the house after school and my Mom told me that there was a surprise for me in the bathroom. My best girlfriend, Tracy, was with me and we both looked at one another and giggled. We couldn’t imagine that any surprise kept in a bathroom could be a good one. However, when I opened the door, out bounded a gorgeous Old English Sheepdog pup. It was love at first sight. Maggie was my beautiful girl until I went away to college. She was as gentle and loyal as any dog could ever be. She was my big soft pillow when I read books out on the lawn. She listened attentively to my troubles while I brushed her thick wooly coat. And she kissed my face when she was happy to see me … which was every single time. There aren’t too many people who will do all those things for a girl.

FOUR:
Dinnertime seemed ordinary at our house. Usually Mom made something tasty and we all sat down together at the dining room table and ate together. While we ate, we talked to one another. The television was off, and the phone was unplugged. Afterward, Mom and Dad retired to the family room to watch the news and we kids cleaned up. It was the same every day from the time I was little until …as a matter of fact, it’s still that way even now when I go to visit. My parents made family meals seem simple, but in reality, it’s really hard to get everyone together without interruptions every single day. I miss the scheduled regularity of that part of my day. I miss the daily connection with the people who were most important to me at that time of my life. And even though my brother and sisters bugged the hell out of me, I miss the goofing off we did while we were doing our chores.

FIVE:
I miss the body I had when I was a kid. It could do anything I asked it to do. I was strong, coordinated and healthy. Exercise was about playing and helping, not something I paid $52 dollars a month for and fit into my daily schedule at a special club.

Right up until about age 10 or 11, I didn’t really think much about my body. It simply did what I wanted it to do. If I wanted to climb something, it did it. If I wanted to ski or skateboard, it did that too. Cartwheels, flips, standing on my head? No problem. I could run like the wind, leap like a mountain goat and swim like a fish. When I got tired, I stopped. When I was thirsty, I got a drink of water. When I was hungry, I ate. There was no thought to what was best according to the latest research or diet craze.

I miss having command of my body and not thinking about what it can and can’t do, or what I should or shouldn’t do.

What do you miss about being a kid?
I’d like to see what the following folks have to say:
Ssssssssss Teeeeeeee Ay....

Al
Kelebek }{
Blaze

Opaco

13 Comments:

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

This is beautiful.

I'm sure there was beauty like this in my own childhood, but I can't think about it, because it hurts to know that it's over, and gone.

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Al said...

I can still vividly remember going to back at my paternal grandparents house in Ohio during the summer and spending hours just after dusk chasing fireflys. It was great. I had to go back for a funeral about 2 weeks ago. Just as I got out the rental car to check into the hotel, I saw a firefly. It was great. Then watched a group of kids run around the pool area trying to catch them in paper cups. Yep, I was home again.

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger kelebek }{ said...

I agree with number five the most. Although I was put on numerous diets by my mom, I still liked being able to do whatever I wanted with the nimble body of mine. Now, I wouldn't dare a summersault over the TV cabinet!
I just posted answers to your tag. Thanks, I haven't thought about my childhood in a long time!
kelebek }{

 
At 1:59 AM, Blogger Clark K. said...

Your taking me back to my younger days on the farm...I too could never eat a piece of veal either after taking care of the calves. I think that's the one thing my brother, sister and I all did together. Other than that we were too busy fighting each other.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

Very nice! I look forward to repsonding to this "tag"!

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Buffalo said...

Well done!

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Popeye said...

Nice. Vey nice. I really have enjoyed this tag. . .

 
At 11:49 PM, Blogger Opaco said...

that was a good one, i liked reading it.

i put mine up too.

 
At 12:28 AM, Blogger R. U. Serious said...

I just noticed something...

I'm not a ckick?

 
At 1:13 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Larry - Thanks. It was a bittersweet exercise for me too.

Al - Yes! We did the fireflies too.

Kelebek }{ - I loved your answers, especially the one about going for walks with your Dad.

Clark - Those calves are so cute! I delivered one on Christmas eve when I was 7 years old. My Grandpa coached me through it. I had to stick my arm in a cows vagina all the way up past my elbow. I pulled the calf out by it's hooves. It was so cool!

Blaze - I know that I'll enjoy reading your answers.

Buffalo - Thanks for visiting and Thank you for the comment.

Popeye - It's fun to read other people's answers

Opaco - Well done!

RU Serious - I could play Naughty Nurse and we could do a physical exam if you really aren't sure.

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful. ANd boy, did that bring back memories. I really wish that our kids could have the same experiences we did. Life was soooo much more simple back then.

 
At 5:33 AM, Blogger whitesgem said...

To R.U., you are an honorary ckick... This is a great honor.., tee hee,
Theresa, what a great blog! I think that it helps to sort thru things- im still trying to figure out why im so screwed up!
Take care, Bev

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger gethky said...

Hope you don't mind that I copied your post in my "Sampler" blog where I have collected other great works from such serious, high-minded bloggers as yourself.

 

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