TGIF! Anyone else feeling that way? This week has been a blur, because I’ve spent most of it tracking all the crazy hurricanes happening around the country, at my desk wrapping various projects (one I’m super excited to share in a few months or so), getting ready for our trip next week and making plans for our last weekend on Oahu for awhile 🙂 I’m back today with another prompts of my September Blogging Challenge and we are officially done with WEEK TWO! How did that happen? Halfway done – dang! If you missed my blogging challenge announcement post, I’ve been feeling a little bit uninspired by blogging and social media and I wanted to bring it back to where it all began…little old me behind my keyboard tapping away. And so – that’s what is happening! I know there are “blog every day” challenges, but honestly – I don’t blog every day as it is, so committing to 30 days was intimidating for me. Instead, I put together 20 prompts that really inspired me and whipped up a list for when you can expect them here. Today’s prompt is my earliest childhood memories and this one really forced me to dig deep within the archives of my mind, and with a little help from my mom, I was able to put this post together with some photos 🙂
My Earliest Childhood Memories
There is one thing that always happens when I go back to my parent’s house in Pennsylvania, the home I grew up in, and that is head upstairs to an old closet that has about 1,000,000 loose photos and about 200 photo albums. It’s one of my absolutely favorite things to do, because I always reminisce on a memory (or 10) that had somehow slipped through the cracks of my mind. What is better than looking at old photos and stepping back in time?
My mom is the first person to tell you that I’ve been a negotiator since the day I was born. She might say “she came out of the womb knowing what she wanted out of life” and — she’s right. Mom, mark it down, I’ve said it on the internet – you are right 😉 But there are snippets of childhood that really emphasize this point and none so poignant as when I billed the tooth fairy a late fee for not getting me my money on time. Another instance, I lost a small tooth and asked for some cash “even though it was small”.
Another really hysterical (now) instance of this is the day I decided that my after school program wasn’t on my agenda for the day. My parents both worked full time jobs, so when I was still pretty young, I would attend an after school program that was hosted right at my elementary school. It made it so much less stressful on them that I had a place to go so they weren’t consistently leaving work early and, in turn, I could play games, eat snacks, etc. Except for one day I had decided that I was through with that after school program, so when the day was over, I told my teacher that my mom said I could ride the bus and just go home. My teacher was pretty friendly with my parents and gave me a side eye, but I had convinced her that it was totally okay, my mom had definitely said I could skip the after school program and “could I just go now?” Thankfully, my teacher called my mom, confirmed I had to go to my after school program and I was absolutely not going to take the bus home. Heaven help! Today I still joke with my mom that I was sick of playing after school games and just wanted to relax at home. HA!
I remember summers spent at the Jersey shore where my whole family would congregate at my aunt + uncle’s shore house (Brigantine for all my East coast Jersey shore friends!), Christmas morning breakfast where we ate in our pajamas, endless road trip games where I would plot a make-believe road trip to pass the time, spending my sick days with my grandparents and my grandma letting me eat buttered toast with cinnamon and sugar on the floor of the living room while I was glued to “FACE” on Nick Jr., going back-to-school shopping with my mom and begging for outfits that 1. had a shirt that could be tucked in and 2. were all the same print (maybe I loved the idea of rompers from a young age?!) and thinking it was the best day in the world when my parents told us we were getting a dog. I also remember thinking it was a good idea to buy a bottle of “SUN IN” and dump the entire bottle (maybe it was two now that I think about it) onto my head. You can see the results of that genius idea below.
I was perpetually sick for any grand event, birthday or holiday. Nearly every photo ever taken of me at my birthday or a holiday, I have some sort of illness and in the pictures I look positively miserable. One year, I was so sick I got a suppository on my birthday and I remember thinking it was like a major surgery. I think when you’re 12 that might just be how your mind works, LOL! But I was feeling almost instantly better and the next day we celebrated my birthday at Benihana and I got a Beanie Baby I had been coveting for months. It was a brown dragon with iridescent coral-colored wings and I remember buying it a special plastic case to sit in. Makes me LOL just thinking about it.
As I got older, I quickly realized how precious time with family is when my grandfather died on Valentine’s Day 2005. I remember getting physically ill at the thought of him getting sick, crying so hysterically in the hospital that I hyperventilated and passed out and then almost as quickly as he went in the hospital, he was gone. I remember screaming at my mom – IT’S NOT FAIR – and going outside to sit on the front porch of my parent’s house in the bitter-cold of February in Pennsylvania to cry. I felt a pain like sharp knives in my chest every time I sucked in the winter air. Looking back, I can’t even imagine how she was feeling, let alone trying to be there for me as I processed such a monumental loss to our family. He was buried that spring and I can still remember what I had on – a pink sweater from American Eagle that had a pocket in the front, a denim skirt, UGG boots and a pink ribbon in my hair. He never got to see me graduate and it’s one of the biggest regrets of my life. Though God-love my grandma, because she’s never missed a prom, graduation, holiday or family dinner! She’s about as sassy as they come and maybe that’s where I get it from 😉
One thing I distinctly remember throughout all of my childhood years is always feeling so abundantly loved. I genuinely hope that is one thing I can pass on to my own children some day. I grew up in a house where we all actually liked hanging out with one another and that is a truly, truly good feeling. My parents were strict and sometimes, okay a lot of times, I lashed out, because I felt like it wasn’t fair. But looking back, I’m so glad they were strict and didn’t try to be my friend. They cared enough about me to set boundaries and do the best they could to hammer home the idea that life isn’t always fair or generous and that anything worth having takes work. My mom’s famous comeback has always been “I’m not your friend, I’m your mom”. It’s something that makes me laugh, but I have never freaking forgotten it!
I didn’t expect this post to make me feel all sentimental, but it did just that! I am sitting here a little misty eyed thinking about how grateful I am for the childhood I had. So let’s dish, what’s your best childhood memory? And if you shared some memories on your own blog today, feel free to link up below 🙂 Have a great weekend, everyone!