I’m working on it: Childhood revelations


By Amanda Lee, Web columnist

Sidewalk chalk drawings, bubbles, sprinklers in the yard and ice cream in the middle of the day. Oh, the days of childhood.

Growing up, I lived in three places and four different houses. The one I remember the most, though, is the third house. It was a small cottage with two bedrooms.

There were five us at the time: me and my twin brothers, and, of course, Mom and Pop.

Our room was really more like a storage room with a staircase leading to a loft. For as long as I can remember, I loved stairs — that exhausting contraption to connect two floors to each other.

My brothers and I would take pillows and slide down them, we would race each other up and down them (something that worried my mother greatly), we would build forts under them and climb on them — our own indoor playground.

That little cottage was my favorite house in the world. While the inside was fun, the outside was even better.

Our back yard had a huge mango tree in it. My dad brought home one of those ropes that they use to pull in tugboats at the harbor and tied it on the branches for us; our own makeshift swing.

My older cousins and I built a treehouse up there, but we were never allowed to go in it, (mother was quite worried about that as well.)

I used to explore what seemed like miles of terrain with my brothers, even though it was really only a couple of yards. We used to sled down the grassy hills and fly kites on windy days. We used to take magnifying glasses and race to find the most bugs. We used to run through sprinklers on hot days.

Back then I used to think multiplication was the end of the world and long division would be listed as my cause of death on my tombstone.

If I had only known. If I had known what life would be like today — busy, busy; rush, rush, rush; deadlines; go here; go there; time for work — I would have enjoyed those late nights telling ghost stories in the garage.

I would have cherished the times everyone grabbed their boogie boards and sledded down hills when it was really rainy.

I would have saved my silly chalk drawings and not fretted over getting in trouble for coloring something the wrong color in my coloring book.

I wouldn’t have stressed over long division and multiplication because, later on, I’d be able to use a calculator, and no one would care how many math problems I did in a minute.

I would have drunk in those simple moments when there was only pure joy. I would have had FUN and stopped trying to rush through everything because now, it seems as if that’s all I do.

If I had only known.