Monday, June 23, 2014

The Days I Hope They Remember




A significant portion of my early child memories are blissful. I remember playing elaborate imaginary games with my brother and with my dolls. I recall cooking in the kitchen with my mum and sunny afternoons in our grassy back yard with my dad.

A penchant for vivid colour ensured my mum was always dressed in a cobalt blue oversized cardigan with buttons that resembled dinner plates. Failing that she rocked out in cherry printed blouses and bright purple high top reeboks.

My dad kept his shorts short and his socks high. His skin tanned and his beard trimmed.

Our kitchen had laminate yellow bench tops, timber veneer doors and carpet on the floor while our bathroom sported crackle glazed red tiles and mission brown taps. It was gorgeous, everything about it and if I close my eyes I can still see each and every room in that humble house. I can hear the ocean and taste it's salty spray.

The memories are vivid and alive with joy.

Life was simple.

A small Anglican church provided our slightly righteous social circle and that was it. No play group, no music group, no kinder gym and no music classes. Just my blond haired brother, cobalt clad mother and  a dad with great legs and shot shorts.


I'm not sure at what point it became necessary for children to be socially, musically and gymnastically aware all before they reach the tender age of 6 but it most certainly wasn't the way in the 80's and for that I'm grateful.

I want my children to remember the slow days.

The days where they played shop with bottle top money and half eaten apples. Where they devoured pop corn from brown paper bags under a massive mohair rug in a kid built cubby. The mornings that they fed the pig with their smartly dressed, tender hearted father.

The days like today where we had nothing to do and nowhere to go.

Today I was grateful for the memories of being a child, still rich and real and gorgeously mysterious. But mostly I was grateful to witness my own young people soaking it all in - every sight, every sound every scent - raw and magic and wonderful.

24 comments:

  1. Oh yes yes yes! Empty days always end up being the most full. Beautiful, wonderful, cheerful. I'm with you Emily... Just say NO to gymbaroo, ballet lessons and piano for tots!

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  2. I miss days like this with all my boys at home... life is so different now that we're part of the school system. Eagerly anticipating school holidays! And I"m so with you - I cherish the days we just, just hanging at home. With nothing in particular to do. But everything to gain from just being with each other.
    Ronnie xo

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    1. My grammar has gone haywire. Oh well.
      Ronnie xo

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    2. ahahah you're the best Ronnie. I'm excited for Zeph that he will be starting school (his eyes are wide with wonderment) but for me, I'm pretty sad! shah

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  3. How true x These days parenting seems to be all about group play and activities. I love the nothing to do and nowhere to go days. They are the memories our little ones will remember when they get older…the fun times just hanging out at home x

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  4. YES YES YESSSSSSSS!!! I love love love this post. And your dad's short shorts. My dad had many a pair (he has since switched them for the lycra style to fit in with his MAMIL mates). We are blissfully ignorant to any extracurricular activities.. including swimming! We finished up last year to change swim centres… and I kinda didn't re-enrol them..I know we need to go back, but it's so nice living in denial xx

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    1. Gosh those shorts- I forgot to mention that they were firm fitting to! God bless the 80's!

      Swimming. I NEEEEED to do swimming. Eeep.

      (head back in sand)

      xx

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  5. I am so with you on this one. The memories I treasure most are of playing with the cardboard box that the new freezer came in, making a shop from the out of date tins of food in the back of the cupboard and watching Mary Poppins with my Nan when it was too wet to play outside. I don't understand the desire to "make" children experience life, they do a pretty good job of it all be themselves in my view.

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  6. When my kids were little (they are teens now), we lived in a rural area where there just wasn't much in the way or organized activities for them. They spent their childhood playing in the woods and creek that surrounded our house. We had lots of craft supplies and lots of unstructured time, and I cherish my memories of those years with them. I hope that some day they feel about their childhood the way you do about yours.

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    1. I'm sure they will, if they don't already

      x

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  7. I remember......the loooonnnnggggg days of summer, the games of cowboys and Indians , skating on the back yard rink, building snow forts, putting on our own skits, camping as a family in a leaky canvas tent......unstructured fun! Yes, I hope your children, and children everywhere can relish and remember the innocent joys of play.

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  8. You are just so cool...what a lovely post.

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  9. In a delightful, synchronistic way, I posted a similar shot of my kids yesterday, standing at our coffee table drawing. Last night, this was followed by a black out lasting two hours. After dinner (hobbled together on our gas stove top, I managed to finish our 'roast' lamb and vege) we sat on the couch and told stories. I talked about the park across the road when I grow up, while both the older kids told stories of country life including snakes. It's funny because often in family story telling, it mostly becomes the parents telling the tales - last night it reminded me the kids are amassing stories of their own. (Link to pic here: http://stonefruitseason.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/creative-kids-at-home.html)

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  10. So good. Thank you for that moment to remember my own 80's golden days & remind what is precious in giving my own kids they're own to hold on to! x

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  11. The memories are the best of a childhood lived, not scheduled and structured. I always thought as a kid I was missing out. No Guides or Saturday sport, just an awkward year of dance and a few swimming lessons (we had a backyard pool after all). Looking back I fondly recall the memories of shopping at the green grocers on a Saturday with Dad (in his short shorts and long socks!), making a restaurant in the front hallway, knitting clothes for my dolls with mum, playing "Almost Anything goes" with my brother and turning flowers into perfume.

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  12. This is why I love the school holidays, everything stops and we can be unstructured and wild as we want. Long live pyjama days, climbing trees, building dens and backyard cricket.

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  13. apart from swimming, my daughter has never been engaged in any extra activities. It was just me and her and that was it during our early years.

    I too had the best childhood. my sisters and I were free to do anything so we went on long bike rides, make and fly kites and play pretend with our dolls. It was amazing. :) thanks for sharing. I have always been inspired by your blog.

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  14. شركة نقل عفش
    اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش واثاث

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  15. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف

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  16. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em