Childhood Memories

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As adults we know that childhood is precious and fleeting, so why are our kids in such a rush to grow up?

My husband came across a thought provoking little story that I would like to share with you.

Interview with God

I dreamed I had an interview with God.

"So you would like to interview me?" God asked.

"If you have the time" I said.

God smiled. "My time is eternity."
"What questions do you have in mind for me?"

"What surprises you most about humankind?"

God answered…

"That they get bored with childhood,
they rush to grow up, and then
long to be children again."

The other day while waiting at the schoolyard for our kids, another mom and I watched as two kids from my daughter’s fifth grade class were kissing.

Both of us Mom’s were surprised to see these children we knew in such a hurry to grow up, while our children were still playing in their tree-house and arranging ball-hockey games in the street.

We both were thankful our kids still wanted to be kids….. for the time being. Somewhat nervous of the upcoming teen years, neither one of us is in a big hurry for them to grow up.

It is sad that ‘youth is so often wasted on the young’ as someone wise once said.

It should be a time to be held onto for as long as you can, and maybe even beyond when it is socially acceptable to do so!

(Note to my children: What I mean by this is to always have the heart of a child…. Not, that you can live in my house till you’re 40! )

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Working on a variety of decorating kids playrooms and bedrooms articles, both my husband Doug and I have been reminded again and again about our own childhood bedrooms.

 

Maybe you remember the bedroom paint colors… a quilt… or a picture perhaps? Or does a special toy, or a cozy seat by the window fill your memories when looking back into the past?

 

There is always something that you can remember from your child bedroom decor. As you try to bring your minds eye to those little things about your room, a flood of other childhood memories come rushing in.

 

Talking with Doug about his childhood bedroom, he remembers the nautical decor, the aquariums and the radio that took all day to warm up enough to listen to.

 

My dad remembers the attic bedroom with the arched ceilings he shared with his two brothers, and the tall dresser in which he got the bottom drawer because he was the youngest.

 

My mom remembers a bleak, drab bedroom with little to no ornamentation. A room that was always cold and shivery to her.

 

As for me, I have cozy peaceful memories of the bedrooms I had when I was a child.

 

My sister and I shared a room in every home we lived in as children, except one. There was even a time when my brother also shared our room.

 

I tend to remember things spatially. The way the room was laid out, where the closet was and how the beds were placed.

 

I don’t really remember any of the bedroom colors except for the one turquoise striped room I didn’t really like that much. Mom and Dad found a good deal on wallpaper and bedspreads for my sister’s and my room while we were at school and surprised us with them.

 

I remember being pleased our room was getting updated but never had the heart to say I didn’t like the color. 

 

It wasn’t like I hated my new room; I just didn’t feel very comfortable with the bedroom colors. I was never angry with my parents for ‘choosing for me’ but I never felt like it was really mine.

 

To give my sweet parents some credit, I remember one of my child bedrooms with great fondness. It was the one time I had a room of my own.

 

I really wanted to have one of those wallpaper murals that covered the whole wall with a scene. They were expensive and my parents weren’t sure whether they were worth the money. I loved this one that was a country road lined with trees in fall color and I wanted it really bad.

 

I was twelve at the time and could picture myself taking long walks through those beautiful trees.

 

They bought the mural for me and hung it on the wall with quite a bit of difficulty. The squares of wallpaper had to be lined up perfectly or the picture looked all wrong.

 

I remember lying on my bed dreaming of peaceful outings by the hour and being thankful that they had put it up for me.

 

The one thing in common in every child bedroom I had, was a picture of a puppy investigating a little green frog at the edge of a pond. No matter how old I got I was never too old for this picture.

 

I think some how you never outgrow what you love and understand.

 

This little picture now hangs in our daughter’s bedroom along with the paintings we made of her drawings and the photo of her first cat.

 

It is funny how much your own past child bedroom decor can have such a big impact on you as an adult.

 

I think as parents, how we remember our own childhood bedroom also affects they way we go about decorating our children’s rooms.

 

Were we given the opportunity to express our own personalities in our rooms? Were they our own rooms or just extensions of our parent’s house?

 

Were our rooms cozy or bleak? Were they creative, original and filled with art and treasures? Were they filled with the things we loved or were they decorated in someone else’s tastes?

 

When our children were very tiny, Doug and my tastes tended to dominate their rooms.

 

As they are growing and discovering their own likes and dislikes we are seeing changes in their needs to influence how their rooms are being decorated.

 

Their rooms are the one place in the house that is truly theirs alone. Big discussions have to be made now when we are interested in adding or removing any elements in their rooms, such as furniture, bedding, toys and artwork.

 

Since our memories are so strong about our own childhood bedrooms, we are assuming theirs will be too, and want their memories to be of comfort, individuality and empowerment.

 

We are hoping that our children can look back on the memories of their own childhood bedrooms with fondness. We also hope they hold onto a few of their precious treasures to share with their own children when their memories are just tiny snapshots in their own minds eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I recently came across a short article from the Proctor and Gamble’s P&G Everyday Solutions Newsletter, called " 6 Ways to Be a Kid Again: No Kidding!"

As parents we have a huge opportunity to re-live some of our childhood through something that is called ‘play therapy’. Childhood games like tag, Red Rover, skipping and using a Hula Hoop is a fantastic way to stay healthy and young at heart.

Some of the other ideas presented in the article were, finger painting, doing crafts, dancing, and being on a sport team.

I loved the idea of taking a group of your friends (leaving the kids at home), and heading off to an amusement park, zoo or the water park.

I know there would be a lot of giggling if my friends and I went to Playland… and even some screaming from me if we went on one of those crazy swinging rides!!!

Tell us some of your favorite childhood activities, that would make you feel like a child again if you tried them?

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Have you ever read an article and been instantly transported to your childhood?

I just read an article about the popular comeback of the ice cream sandwich from the New York Times called Frozen Treats: A Bite of Childhood.

The moment I started reading the article, a flood of ‘ice cream sandwich memories’ came rushing back of my own childhood. One memory in particular comes to mind.

My grandma lived in a tiny town called Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. This tiny town is nestled in at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

For most of my childhood, we lived on the West Coast of British Columbia and did not have that many chances to visit my Grandparents. So getting to stay with them in their home was a special treat.

Grandma kept an old deep freeze in the mudroom by the back door, where her friends and family entered the house. The front door was the formal entrance and was only used by guests.

Whenever we would visit, my little brother and sister and I would go out to the mudroom and hunt in the freezer for treasure! The treasure we were hoping to find was a bucket filled with homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Grandma made her ice cream sandwiches with large chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla ice cream. She then rolled the edges of the sandwiches in melted chocolate. Before the chocolate hardened, she’d roll them again in a plate of chopped nuts, usually salted peanuts.

Then grandma would carefully wrap the ice cream treasures in wax paper, before placing them in an empty ice cream bucket in the freezer for us to find.

She made it seem like there was probably always a bucket full of ice cream sandwiches at her place. Though now that I’m an adult, my guess is she started making them right after she found out we were coming.

Childhood memories are amazing. Simple things like the thought of an ice cream sandwich can take you back twenty or thirty years. When times were simple and pleasures were sweet.

How far back can an ice cream sandwich take you?

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