Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 46: The Memory-Making Magic of Music | Everyday Nostalgia

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I’m stage right, peeking out from behind a heavy curtain, waiting patiently for the audience members to take their seats. I do a little twirl and watch my glittery, sequined gown glisten, and when I’m finished, I reach up and smooth down my hair, preparing it for the crown that will surely be placed upon it within a matter of minutes.

Suddenly, I hear the first few notes of my entrance music: The pageant is about to begin.

* * *

Well, at least in my imagination, it is.

In reality, I’m 5 years old, it’s the mid-1980s, and I’m standing in the doorway of my wood-paneled living room, wearing OshKosh B’Gosh overalls and purple Velcro tennis shoes. My audience members are my mom and my 9-year-old brother, Kurt. While my father is there to enjoy the show as well, he’s also in charge of the audio/visual components. In front of me is my plastic orange and yellow Fisher Price shopping cart, and inside it, a wide variety of my toys. Continue reading “Week 46: The Memory-Making Magic of Music | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · family · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

Week 45: I’m failing at dinner—but not as a parent | Everyday Nostalgia

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It’s 7:48 in the evening, and my daughter, Zoey, and I are almost finished with her bedtime routine.

Almost.

I close the chapter book we are currently reading, set it on her nightstand, and turn off her lamp.

Darkness fills the room, and I feel the bed shift beneath us as Zoey finds her way over to me. She lifts my arm and settles into the spot on my chest she has come to claim as her own.

“Know what time it is?” I ask.

“One of the best parts of my day,” Zoey replies. “I’ll go first.” Continue reading “Week 45: I’m failing at dinner—but not as a parent | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 44: The Magic Between the Past and the Future | Everyday Nostalgia

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I’ve been feeling awfully introspective lately, and a little bit sentimental, too.

Perhaps it’s this time of year, where we are perched precariously between seasons: in a few short weeks, the last of the leaves will fall, leaving us with the gray, barren branches of winter, the ones that always, for some inexplicable reason, make me think of my childhood.

I spent my grade school years growing up in a quintessential, suburban Colonial house in South Carolina. Aside from being adorned with pink heart wallpaper and furnished with my mom’s girlhood 1960’s Dixie White and Gold dresser and desk, my second-floor bedroom was equipped with a large window that looked out over our sprawling front yard.

In that yard, a tall, strong tree stood, one that waved us away to school in the morning and welcomed us home in the afternoon with outstretched branches mimicking a massive set of open arms. My dad helped me move my desk in front of the window so I could sit at it and look out at that tree as I read and colored and drew and wrote in my little turquoise diary with its tiny, plastic, silver lock. Continue reading “Week 44: The Magic Between the Past and the Future | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past

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As with many Octobers here, we’ve already seen snow. Twice. In between those snows, we’ve hit 80 degrees.

Such is the weather in Colorado.

But when I think of first snows, I tend to think of the snow that ushers in winter—that first snow that comes along sometime in mid to late November when the trees are bare and the grass is brown. (Okay, yes, I realize winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, but to me, winter starts in November.)

And when I think of that first winter snow, I’m transported back in time, back to the excitement I felt as a little kid, sitting next to the big picture window in our living room, watching the flakes tumble in slow motion to the ground. It always made me want to listen to this song

That first snow—and that song—also always made me eager for an adventure, so my older brother and I would don winter jackets, not-so-waterproof mittens, and itchy wool hats. We’d pull on our Moon Boots and make our way out the door to our backyard tundra. We made first tracks, created snow angels, wrestled around, and put slush down the other’s back. And in those years when the snow was heavy and actually accumulated, we engaged in fierce snowball fights and built snowmen. Continue reading “First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 42: Why It’s Important to Channel Your Inner Child, No Matter Your Age

We have to listen to the child we once were, the child who still exists inside us. That child understands magic moments. – Paulo Coelho

It’s 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning, a time that would normally find me sitting at my desk or sitting in a meeting or, even worse, still sitting in traffic. But today, this early morning hour finds me doing something different: although I am sitting, I’m on my living room floor, next to my daughter, Zoey, and there are crayons to the left of us, Legos to the right, and there we are, stuck in the middle of fun.

Parent-Teacher conferences are in full-swing at Zoey’s school, so she’s off for the day. And after scrambling earlier in the week to try to find a babysitter for her and then realizing I had a vacation day I could use, I am too.

This unexpected three-day weekend has Zoey so excited she can barely contain herself. Continue reading “Week 42: Why It’s Important to Channel Your Inner Child, No Matter Your Age”