Tag Archives: Children

Tracks and Childhood

Humans are incredibly nostalgic creatures.
The lengths to which we will go are incredible, when childhood memories or memorabilia are involved.
Why do you think vintage action figures are so valuable? Why else is scrapbooking a massively successful industry? People are terrified of losing themselves, as defined by physical and mental imprints on the world.
If you ask anyone what their first car was, they will be able to respond almost instantly. Most people probably still remember the first big purchase they made with their own money. Almost everyone has their first home address memorized, and home videos are full of “baby’s first things”. Sounds and smells and textures are all physical triggers in accessing memory banks.

Last week, I moved out of the apartment I’d been staying in for the past few months. I’d moved in with my best friend at the time, and we had been planning to get a house together when her lease expired at the apartment complex. However, over time, differing schedules and lifestyles created a good number of tensions, and there were several long, tearful conversations, where frustrations and personal affronts were discussed at length.
I don’t know about anyone reading this, but I never enjoy those sorts of conversations.
All in all, stresses were high, and something needed to change.
So change, it did.

In the space of an afternoon, months and years worth of planning, wishing, and dreaming culminated in my moving into a tiny, two-story house.
The roof needs replaced, the doors don’t quite seal all the way, and the floors creak when you walk across them.
The bathroom floor leaks into the kitchen if the bathtub gets a little too excited.
The back yard isn’t fenced.
The floors give you splinters if you drag your feet.
The windows stick, and most of them don’t open, unless they’re the ones that have been replaced.

But there are radiators in every room downstairs, rippling with heat, and providing a toasty seat to chilled bottoms.
The floors are a light, golden-brown hardwood, and when it catches the sunlight, it glows.
There’s a threshold between living room and dining room that to a seven year-old, embodies the glory and power of a thundering river. She will spend many years leaping across it, imagination aglow with the feat.
The stairway has a narrow ledge parallel the top half of it, and a ten year-old girl likes to walk along it and pretend a bottomless chasm drops away below her bare feet. She will stand at the end and curl her toes over the edge while she watches family members trudge up the stairs in a routine they don’t even think about.
The upstairs bathroom is bigger than the master bedroom, there’s a funny, slanted corner to one room, where there wasn’t quite enough room for both the stairs and the bedroom, so they had to share.
The closets are all at least six feet deep, and one of them was big enough to hold the world of a thirteen year-old as she dreamed about boys, wrote about fantasy worlds, and hid from the outside world under her blankets. The evidence is still scribbled on the walls, if you care to decipher the handwriting.

Now, a nineteen year-old lives in the master bedroom, stocking feet folded under her legs to protect them from the drafty cold. Boxes are scattered about the floor, and clothes are on the floor, for want of a better place to go. The rooms are empty and they echo, and the upstairs had to be aired out for two days to get rid of the stenches of cigarettes and pot that were lurking in the corners.
Tatty carpet pieces have been rolled up, explicit DVD’s discovered in closets, and floors scrubbed and refinished.

It’s been half a decade at least, but this blog post is proof that some dreams do come true, if you’re willing to wait.
I now live in my childhood home, and I don’t plan to be going anywhere soon.

So sophisticated!!

Is it just me, or do we love to masquerade as extremely professional and dignified people? Grownups nowadays all seem to be making up adulthood as they go along, be it with pantsuits or less dramatic hair colors in an attempt to project a more ‘professional’ or ‘mature’ image. Any way you slice it, almost no one has any idea what they’re doing.

Except for that one friend whose life looks like a walking pinterest board.

We all have that friend.

My favorite way of feeling ‘adult-ish’ is by drinking coffee beverages that aren’t laden with whipped cream and sugary syrups.
I mean, I still love me some white-chocolate raspberry mocha. But if you ever see me order a caramel macchiato and then stand sedately by the pickup counter, my inner monologue is probably self-congratulation on my very mature and grownup choice.

You go, self! You drink that slightly bland coffee! Remind yourself why you tend to go for other drinks, and that you don’t really enjoy this too much! We all know you secretly like this drink, right?

Meh.

Of course, I’ll be doing all this while wearing a fandom t-shirt and with a stuffed toy on my keychain.
So, I don’t know how that balances out.

Washcloths

I have recently moved out of my parent’s house and into the basement living space of my grandparents’ house. This is an entirely new concept for me, as always before in my life, I have always been ‘home’. Never mind spending weeks alone, I was still living and abiding in the house of my parents. For slightly longer than 18 years, that has always been the defining feature of ‘home’.

The experience of packing most of my possessions into boxes and then setting those things up in familiar-yet-entirely-different positions around my new rooms was very emotionally taxing, and it drained me for the rest of the day.
Part of the pain, as I frequently lamented to my cousin, was that the room I had just recently acquired had a window seat. I adore window seats, and have done since I was roughly five and first read about them in a book long-forgotten. I don’t know why, but perhaps simply the pure dramatic appeal is what I love. But that window seat had finally fallen into my possession, and then, just as suddenly, it fell out.

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No, the title is not a glitch.

Both my laptops have simultaneously given up a ghost of a wifi signal, leaving me only two bars on one and nil on the other, supposedly “better”, one.

This has been perfectly timed with the move I have made recently, which sets up some suspicions.

In answer to all of you burning with curiosity, I switched rooms with my sister, giving me a window seat and one less room mate. This room mate is nearly six, so she presents a different set of challenges, but she is not woken up by the Christmas lights I like having perpetually on.

The only downside is, she adores me and everything I own.

‘Downside?’ you may ask. How is this possibly a bad thing?

In that she asks for every single thing she sets her eyes upon.

Old bag of stale peanuts? She wants it.

Random rock you don’t remember picking up? She adores it.

A bag of expensive chocolate you got for your birthday? She must have them.

Not even the doorknobs Pinterest inspired you to buy, on which to hang scarves, are safe.

“Can I have one??” has rung in my ears for as long as she has known how to talk, but moving into the same room with her means that now, she wakes me up with them, standing by the side of my bed with the object in her hands and eyes at optimum pleading width.

I’ll make no secret of the fact that it’s difficult to keep my temper, but it’s also gotten me thinking.

Small children are notorious for being shameless in asking for things. People are infamous for being unable to resist them. How much could we get if we turned off our inhibitions and asked for everything we saw and desired? The world could be at your feet.

Brazenness and bold attitudes are rewarded in this life.
Why, the presidential campaign could be yours for the taking, should you only ask.
A small African country could be handed to you on your whim.
You could probably get the British to do anything if you were polite enough, if only because they couldn’t bear to be so rude as to refuse you.

Perhaps this is a dangerous notion, as I think on it.

There is, after all, such a thing as too much power.

Hmmmm.

-wanders away pondering-

Eight Years Old.

My brother is eight years old. He likes Phineas and Ferb, Star Wars, sugary cereal, and playing on his iPad, spending hours of each day looking up and memorizing various minecraft parodies of pop songs I used to be able to tolerate. He also likes singing, most often; he likes singing along to these raucous songs.

He was sitting on the couch just outside my room earlier today, telling my mother his woeful tale of exile. Everywhere he’d gone before, a sibling had told him to hush, and he couldn’t see why. Why shouldn’t everyone in the house her his rendition of Ylvis’s ‘The Fox’? It is, after all, such a wonderful and pleasing song. Why did his siblings feel the driving need to shut him up?

Of course, I had no desire to hear the song either, the moreso his off-key, lyric-lacking version of it. He is only eight, and is a tolerable singer at the best of times.

The thing is, he doesn’t care.

Earbuds in, school in his lap, he will sing for however many repetitions you can fit into a ten-hour loop video.

He doesn’t know, nor would he care, that his notes are sharp.

He doesn’t seem to be aware of his aversion to singing more than two notes in the same key.

The fact that he doesn’t know the words? Pish; listen to another hour of it, you’ll learn something.

While the example is of a mildly infuriating instance, the lesson is still there.
Here’s what I took away from it.

There are twelve people on any given day at my house. The number isn’t a constant, but this is still quite the audience. Any one of these people may come by and tell you- shamelessly and rudely- that you are a very bad singer.

You have two choices at this point.

You can go red with horror and embarrassment and allow them to ruin your day, resolving that no one shall hear you sing again. Because after all, anyone who can be bothered to share an opinion must be correct. The truth of this statement can be verified by a brief visit to the YouTube comment section.

The other option you have at this point is to smile, nod, and continue as you like, leaving them to watch you waltz away.

There is, after all, no better way to improve your singing than to actually sing, loudly and often.

This is true of any skill you wish to refine. If you never do it or never push yourself, you will always remain at the same level.
An example of this is anyone who begins a musical instrument at any greater age than two, when one is quite happy to make the most obnoxious noises possible. Everyone it rubbish when they begin; each piano master will tell you sheepishly of their first recital, where they played a two page spread, large-print piece, which they still have memorized. Each violinist will relate to you the cat-like squawks their instrument emitted for the first week. The point is, everyone was bad when they began.

The point, I think, is that when we are eight, we care very little about peoples’ opinions of us.
Would that this self confidence would continue, that when we are 18 or 28 or whatever age, we could give so little thought to the possible negativity. It is these instances of lacking perfectionism that allows us to grow, to flourish, and to thrive.

J.K. Rowling is the most well-known author in this day and age, with one of history’s most successful literature and film franchises. She has touched millions, if not billions, of lives, and she is still rising.

She was denied by publishing house after publishing house, over a dozen, all told. What if she had stopped? What if she’d thought “Screw it. I’ll go work at Starbucks for the rest of my life.”?
I think the world would be greater if people weren’t so afraid of each other, or so afraid of being told ‘no’. Failure creates growth.

Spicewine, Installment 1

The old house held many secrets.

They’d discovered hundreds, many of them lost again nearly as soon as they were found.

Scar and Sissy, always together, always looking. Pricilla Rosalyn, or Sissy Rose, to her friends.

Scar, or Scarlette to only her.

“Why do you have a girl’s name?” she’d asked him once as they sat in the rafters of the house, each on their own, their legs swinging in empty space.
“It’s not a girl’s name,” he’d said defensively, shifting his position to a lazy sprawl on the wide beam. “It’s my name.” Continue reading