I think one of the reasons I find adulthood so frustrating is that I had the perfect childhood: parents all to myself, an amazing dog, friends who all lived within a two-house radius of me, Nantucket vacations, Christmas AND Hanukkah each December. It was pretty charmed life, I must say. Sure, I’ve had experiences lately that have trumped my best childhood memories, but there’s just something about our experiences as kids that’s simply magical–they’re untainted by the harsh realities of the world that we learn at certain ages. Maybe that’s why our childhood memories mean to much to us: they’re a reminder of a time when we experienced pure happiness, and worry wasn’t yet a thing. Here are a few of mine that I’ll hold on to for as long as I can:
My Christmases were one step above perfect. Every year, not only did eat A LOT of cookies open a ton of presents (my mom has a bit of a shopping addiction), but I got to spend the season performing in The Nutcracker. You haven’t lived until you’ve sat on a giant 10-foot moving couch in a mouse costume while playing with fake cheese on a stage in front of thousands of people. The years that I performed in the Christmas Eve matinees were the best Christmases I’ve ever had. Schedule: show at noon, tea at The Ritz with my parents and family friends who came to see me in the show every year, then home to watch It’s a Wonderful Life and eat cookies with my parents and dog.
2. Romeo and Juliet
Did I mention my favorite place in the entire world is a huge stage? Performing with Boston Ballet in Romeo and Juliet may have been the most incredible experience of my entire life. For the role of Street Children, we had a ton of stage time, and a couple of choreographed dances, but we got to improv for the rest of the street scenes. For me, the ballet essentially consisted of running around on stage with my best friend, stealing fake fruit and splashing each other with imaginary water from the fake well. My cousin was also in it with me, and sometimes we huddled together during sword-fighting scenes. Oh, and I had a “solo” where I got to be on stage by myself for 8 counts. Best 8 seconds of my life.
3. Vacations in Nantucket
It’s not as obnoxiously spoiled as it sounds. Well, I mean, my friend and I may have spent many of my days poolside at a bistro on the beach, getting burgers and Shirley Temples brought to our lounge chairs. But, I mean, ok fine, I was spoiled.
4. Trips to Maine
Each summer, my family, which included my best friend, would take a day trip to Maine to visit my aunt and uncle. The waves at the beach were huge (somehow that was more fun than dangerous), but the best part was Yummy’s, the candy store we would stop at on the way back. The walls were lined with every candy you could ever imagine, and as a young child, that’s like, a big deal.
So, that’s a snippet of my perfect childhood. Maybe I’ll never experience the innocence of being blissfully happy about a My Size Barbie, but I’ll always have those memories. Ew. I just said that. I’m done.