there’s a somber sweetness about childhood.
i remember walking barefoot. half painted toenails carefully navigating over white broken rocks. finding treasures: a red leaf, a stream running through woods. a trail through trees to my friends house.
i remember anticipation. always, something coming.
i remember running to the ice cream truck, waiting in line. getting something, usually red. trying to keep it from running down my arms by holding it out. tangy cold sweetness. red is the color of childhood.
i remember friendship. closer than sisters for days on end. then the bitter acrimony of switching sisters. secrets on the playground. songs sung with what seemed to be great skill.
i remember running. whatever it was, i couldn’t get there fast enough. running, arms spread out to be a pegasus. running, arms tucked to make it to base. running, spinning, laughing, falling.
i remember knowing. i’ve forgotten now.
i remember being a daughter. the safety of home.
i remember cats. lazy furry curly cats.
i remember barbie. long blonde hair and carefully painted eyes. ken was always dutiful and captivated.
i remember boys. the smell of sweat always mixed with crayons and the sawdust from pencil sharpeners. knowing they were looking and finding myself talking too loud.
i remember lunches. crisp crackly brown paper bags. peanut butter sandwiches on white bread.
i remember innocence. believing in a world where evil was only in the movies, and bad guys always came clean at the end.
i remember thinking that i was the only real thing and everything else was a dream.
i remember beautiful days, grass and sunshine and puddles.
i remember thinking that in the end, everything would work out fine. i was right.