Things I Miss About Childhood
I’m going to come right out and admit it: this topic is as sappy and overdone as a heaping stack of IHOP’s raspberry white chocolate chip pancakes. Nevertheless, it’s a topic I’ve been mulling over lately.
Like many college students, having to bid adieu to my childhood home to strike out and seek my fortune, I tend to find myself gazing wistfully in the direction of my birthplace, lingering over photographs from the good old days, wandering the streets until the wee hours of the morning, spending inordinate amounts of time in toy stores, shooting envious glares at random children … the list goes on.
Let’s take a trip down Memory Lane, or to Strawberry Fields, or whatever, with the things I miss most about childhood.
Not having to think about the future
I feel like my life is a Jenga tower and someone keeps taking another block out with each passing day. Eventually, I’m either going to have to figure my s*** out or it’s all going to come crashing down. I can’t even settle on a face cleanser, let alone a college major or a career. When you’re a kid, of course, all this stuff seems so remote that, for all you know, the zombie apocalypse could happen before you even have to start thinking about thinking about it.
Nobody expects you to know who you are yet: you can tell people you want to be a princess-ice skater-veterinarian-ballerina or Captain Fartface when you grow up, and they’ll think it’s adorable. Now, not so much. They just look vaguely frightened and excuse themselves, stammering that they’re late for a meeting.
One of the best feelings in the world is catching a mild cold, having your mom call you in sick to your elementary school, and sprawling on the living room couch all day watching Cartoon Network marathons and funneling copious amounts of Ben & Jerry’s New York Triple Fudge Chunk into your tiny, miraculous digestive system.
When you essentially have your own personal nurse and an entire pharmacy in your kitchen, getting sick is a blast. These days, however, its consequences are so horrendously inconvenient that at the slightest twinge in my throat I’m instantly paralyzed with fear. Maybe if I pretend I don’t feel it, it will go away.
Free, ever-present food
When I was a kid, the house seemed to constantly replenish itself with delectable treats, as if by magic. It was like the Grocery Fairy came every night, leaving Spirited Away-style spreads.
Various cheeses wedged their way into the fridge, bread loafed on the counter, and apples and bananas seemed to grow on trees. Okay, those actually do grow on trees, but you know what I mean. Nowadays, as I elbow my way through the streets of New York ferrying 30-pound bags of yogurt and almond milk whose flimsy plastic handles gouge deep furrows into my finger flesh, I wonder why anyone bothers to eat at all. Until I get hungry, that is.
I’ll admit that, as a toddler, I hated nap time. They never gave you enough time to actually fall asleep, so you ended up just lying there wide-awake on one of those blue vinyl KinderMats that somehow seemed to actually enhance the hardness of the floor underneath them. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I thought it was kind of creepy how we kids were all silently passed out on the floor while our teacher loomed over us. As a college student, however, I can’t attend a single class without feeling like I would kill for a few z’s. Where is nap time when you actually need it?
Being ignorant of politics
My only real childhood memories of the news channel involve having it on in the background while my family was doing more interesting things. I was blissfully unaware of everything going on in the world and, TBH, I kind of wish it had stayed that way.
As many warm, fuzzy feels as these memories fill me with, I’m glad I’m not a kid anymore. If gaining independence, responsibility, and freedom require giving up Mom’s chauffeur service, endless free food, doctors’ appointments made for me whenever I need them, bedtime stories, summertime trips to Silver Dollar City with the security of my family wrapped around me like a warm, reassuring, Tide-smelling blanket … Wait, what was I saying, again? Excuse me — I need to go eat a box of Samoas and cry into my family photo album.
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