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10 Things I Miss About My Childhood
By Caelon Reed
“Back in the days when I was young/I’m not a kid anymore but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again. ”
Classic nostalgic lyrics from a musician named Ahmad. I’m sure I’m not the only person who sits back and thinks about the good ol’ days juice box days. Childhood brings back some of the best memories, maybe because that was our “purest” times, free of stress and worries. Get your box of tissues ready as you read through this list of “OMG I remember that” moments. Here are the ten things I miss most about my baby days:
1. Themed Birthday Parties
Take me back to birthdays I dedicated to my favorite television characters. I’m talking “All Little Mermaid Everything," from the cake to my outfit to the party favors to the invitations to the decorations, etc. This had to be the only time I could obnoxiously be the center of attention without judgment. The best part had to be counting my plethora of gifts, money from cards, plus the money securely attached to my clothes by a safety pin.
I regret those days I didn’t take full advantage of my naptime, that I’d spend staring at the ceiling. These days I’d do anything to be privileged with a designated resting time between work and school. When I can, I sneak naps in, but most often wake up with a guilt trip, thinking of the things I could have gotten accomplished had I not fallen asleep. As a child, I didn’t have to worry about time management. What was time back then anyway?
3. Amusement Parks
When I was young, the highlight of my summers was time spent at an amusement park. The joy and excitement I would have waiting in long entrance and ride lines just for those moments of thrill. My mother knew to include Busch Gardens summer passes into her budget approaching spring because I needed to be in attendance the first day it opened and at least twenty times after. Amusement parks are still around which doesn’t prohibit me from going, but I’ll never get that endless energy back to ride those rollercoasters continuously.
4. Reading for Benefits
Remember those programs like “Book It” that gave you free Pizza Hut when you read a certain number of books for class? I was a complete bookworm as a child thanks to that program and other ones like it giving incentives for me to read. I would wear my best smile in pride at the end of the week when my teacher would hand me my Pizza Hut coupons, and/or my Accelerated Reader certificates. In college the only award my teacher gives me for my amount of reading completed is a hard-earned “A” or, um, an “F” at the end of the semester. Oh, the joy of growing up.
5. Coloring Books
Nothing said relaxation more than a fresh book of newsprint paper filled with sketches waiting to be colored in. That and a fresh pack of Crayolas, you wouldn’t hear a peep from me for hours. Coloring was my mental release from a day of strenuous play. Maybe I’ll attempt to recreate those moments of bliss and go pick one up from a nearby bookstore one day soon.
Unless Disney, Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network is running a special flashback segment, I am deprived of my favorite childhood shows. Shows like the Rugrats, Catdog, Hey Arnold, and Pepper Ann consumed my mornings, accompanied by a nice bowl of cereal. As Told by Ginger taught me as a child that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. That’s some powerful inspiration to receive at such a young age. I miss those shows that taught values and didn’t subconsciously make you want to grow up faster.
7. Hand Clapping Games
I made some of my best friends via hand clapping games. "Miss Susie," "Miss Merry Mack," and "Bubblegum" taught me the fundamentals of memorization and sportsmanship. Thanks to games like these I was also able to socially interact with my peers, while simultaneously learning how to keep a beat and rhythm.
8. Pen Pals
Having pen pals as a kid not only broadened my awareness of other places in the world besides home, but it also helped my penmanship and writing skills. It was through having a pen pal that I developed an interest in traveling the world. I miss being able to have an innocent conversation with a stranger across the world; if I tried that today by way of a social network I could be speaking to a “Catfish."
9. Playing Outside
I didn’t need a gym membership as a child because I was always actively outside with my friends. We’d ride our bikes just about everywhere, play at the park, or hang out in one of our backyards. Best part of those days was that they were free, didn’t cost me gas or a fee to park my car to have a good time with my buddies. We were so innovative with ways to have fun from classic games of Manhunt to running lemonade stands. We kept busy. In the world we live in today, kids spend more time on the Internet or game systems than outside. I’m thankful my childhood happened before that became the thing to do.
I miss the candy selection as a kid. What happened to Baby Bottle Pops and Hubba Bubba Bubble Jugs? Now all I see is sugar-free candy or reduced fat nonsense. Bring me back my cavity prone goodness!
Each generation is always going to have those “back in my day” stories, but I think I experienced childhood in a pretty good time. I miss those easy carefree days. Hopefully someone can either finally figure out how to make a time machine or we can all just revert back to how things used to be. Whichevers easiest.