How would you describe your childhood? This was a question I read on a list of safe topics for the holiday dinner table. And I liked it. I asked a few people. And got some thoughtful responses, beginning with “happy” and “a roller coaster.” Then I thought I should figure out my own answer.
The first word that came to mind was “playful.”
I can’t think of my childhood without thinking of my playmates. I grew up in a neighborhood with several cousins in addition to my brother and sister. We were all close in age and imaginative. We made up so many games! Croquet was a favorite in the summer. I don’t even know the real rules of the lawn game because we made up our own. We also liked “steamroller,” where one kid rolls across the floor and the others run and jump over the steamroller. If you touch the steamroller, though, you’re out. We played so many games of hide and seek. We had water fights. We went sledding and threw snowballs. We took the pedal boat out on Grandma’s lake. Sometimes we even played board games — usually by the written rules.
I had school friends, too, and read books by myself often. But overwhelmingly, when I think of childhood, I think of my siblings and cousins. I’m really grateful for them. Even now as we’re all scattered — UAE, Germany, Washington, California, Alaska and Minnesota — we’ve still got each other’s backs. And we like to pick up right where we left off. Silly String fight, anyone?
How would you describe your childhood?