Just for one day. When my mind is calm, and my body is still, my brain releases vivid images. They are happy. Free. Not a care in the world. Please, just let me relive my most sacred childhood memories. The smells, the faces, the love, and the feeling of bliss. The feel of a new book from the library, blades of grass stuck between my toes, eagerly waiting for the top 10 countdown on my tiny radio, fried potatoes in my grandma Dolly’s kitchen, getting up early to make sure I had the most pinecones to create a magical fort, getting that phone call from a boy, double-dutch on the playground, family traditions, and so much more. My biggest stressor as a child was if I had enough change or if I was fast enough to make it to my driveway for the ice-cream truck. That sound. The music that every child could hear a mile away. It was magical. That overwhelming feeling of true joy! Even when I was short-changed, I flashed a smile, and the man would reassure me not to worry. He was kind, and he was fully aware that I was a “regular.” My luck ran out a couple of times, and I missed the truck. That was considered a “bad day.” Looking back, my childhood had obstacles, but life was just as it should be in my eyes.
The current state of our world makes me sad. More than ever, my mind finds comfort in reliving life as a child. My daughter will turn three in December. She is spunky and full of life. My daily reminder that life is good. Her smile redirects my anxiety and fear. She will never know the true impact of that smile. So much to learn from a two-year-old. She only knows a world of people wearing masks. Covid has limited the amount of human interaction, and her childhood looks drastically different than her brothers. My son is 10, and his world has been turned upside down in the past year.
My son can’t fathom not having a phone or any technology for that matter. For laughs, I will show him pictures of things from my past. Cars, typewriters, dial-up phones, and all my snazzy clothing is shocking. It all seems unreal to him. Do you ever have those moments with your children that stop you in your tracks? The ATM was broken at our local bank. Frustrating, yet meant to be. I parked the car and told my son to come into the bank with me. He was a bit confused because he had never been inside a bank. The convenience of life really hit me at that moment. It was a big deal to walk into the bank with my mom and chat with the teller. I felt special and made sure I walked out with a sucker in hand. The art of conversing with other humans feels like a thing of the past. My son is quick to find a way to get something quickly, and his world provides few opportunities to socialize.
Remember the days when we would talk on the phone for hours? Remember the days when we actually stopped moving and sat next to a friend without time restraints? Remember when we looked each other in the eye and were reassured through human touch or facial expressions? Technology connects us yet divides us drastically. It is a double-edged sword for sure. For example, a playdate is often playing games on his iPad with friends. Instead of walking down the street to play the iPad, neighbors stay in their own homes to play. You see, Covid shut down the ability to go out and play closely with friends. As a mom, my heart worried about depression from being put on lockdown. So, that mode of play with friends was a blessing during that time. Mamas, we all strive for balance socially, physically, academically, and emotionally for our children. I could not get out the door fast enough as a child. Now, I have to motivate my son to get his daily dose of physical activity. The truth is, he is happy in a comfy chair trying to get to the next level on his latest game. Ugh.
Maybe it’s Covid that has ignited this fire in my soul to go back and reflect on my childhood. I turn 44 this year. Maybe, I am having mid-life crisis moments? Maybe visualizing the carefree moments keeps me centered? Perhaps I am trying to escape the reality of this life. Most likely, it is all of the above. Mamas, if you are like me, authentic conversations with our kids can feel rushed and hard to come by these days. We are busy and always on to the next thing. What if we were more intentional about sharing pieces of our childhood? What if we replaced their screen time with stories and pictures of our lives? Let’s be real. That takes time and hard work. What if we recreated traditions that we will never forget? My soul would rest knowing that one day my children would share pieces of their childhood with their children and pass on pieces of their mamas. Oh, how I wish I could go back to the simple days. But for now, I will do my best to intertwine my past into the present life. The good ole days…