Childhood

We started a movie last night. 

As the first scene opened, I turned to Tim and said: Just remember, this is part of my childhood. 

By which I meant: This may be a stupid movie, but you better either like  it or tread very, very, very carefully. 

The verdict’s still out on his response, since we saved a healthy half for tonight. 

I really hope he likes it.  (Seriously, how can he not?  Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Jean Simmons…Burl Ives…heck, this movie was part of my parents’ childhoods.) 

But what if he doesn’t? 

You know, childhood has become an increasingly tricky thing…and here’s why: you grow up and leave it behind.   

You move on. 

You have to. 

And you can’t go back. 

But if you are in a new city with new people in a new church with new beliefs, and if you have a new husband and a new home and new siblings and new parents and new responsibilities and new habits and a new culture (and by new, I might really mean different ((and by different, I might only mean changed))), you might want to.  You might want to go back, that is. 

Because suddenly this childhood that is buried so deep inside you that maybe no one else can see it (because they’re new ((or rather, because you’re new))) becomes that much more precious.  Partly because it is old and safe.  Partly because you are no longer so naive nor optimistic (nor foolish) as the girl you used to be.  Partly because it is fully known and shared and understood and remembered and appreciated by no one but yourself.  

I will never be that 11 year old girl again. 

And if I’m honest with myself, I don’t want to be. 

But sometimes I miss her so much.  

So Tim, let me share a silly little bit of my little old childhood self with you tonight.  Humor me a little, and don’t laugh.  Don’t think it’s stupid.  Let it be good enough for you. 

You would have liked me as a little girl. 

(Or maybe you would have just thought I was a stuck up prig.) 

(I was.) 

(Actually, I think maybe God knew what He was doing, because I’m not sure we would have gotten along at all if we’d grown up together.) 

(I kind of usually gloss over how much of a brat I *used* to be.) 

(Okay, so maybe I don’t want to go back as  much as I thought I did.) 

(But still, I hope you like the movie.) 

(I’ll bribe you with popcorn.) 

My first time elk hunting with Dad, age 12. No elk (until the next year), but I did bag a pretty nice size antler!

 

(This post is linked to Amy’s Finer Things Friday.)

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  1. #1 by Laura on September 22, 2010 - 3:09 am

    You are so good at expressing yourself, Cristy! I feel like you crawled into life/heart and wrote this post from what you saw.

  2. #2 by Jessica Lipman on October 1, 2010 - 10:17 pm

    I love this post!! Would you be interested in contributing to my blog?
    I run a collaborative blog called Dysfunctional Beginnings — a collection of material about growing up, and beginnings of all kinds. Literary writing, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, photography, video, etc. We’ve survived it. Now let’s attest to it.
    Let me know! I’d love to showcase your work… I can be reached at dysfunctionalbeginnings@gmail.com.

    http://dysfunctionalbeginnings.com/

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