Favorite Childhood Memories

  • A talking parrot in our kindergarten class. No big deal. This was totally normal because we didn’t know any different. We found the parrot there and left him there when we moved on to grade school.
  • Eating black licorice balls in a relative’s home. His was probably the first upscale home I ever set foot in. It seemed to have been lifted off the page of a magazine: glossy wood, leather sofas and glass-topped tables.
  • A pair of exquisite, brand new, little-girl Mary Jane pumps from London. Gifted by a family friend.
  • The delectable fruit cake one of my aunts brought for my 6th Birthday. I have spent my entire life since, trying to find that fruit cake.
  • Browsing my favorite second-hand bookstore with my Dad. Getting to choose a handful of books for purchase.
  • Saturday afternoon trips to the public library. We would take the bus downtown and I’d get to hide in a corner and get lost in another world for a couple of hours, before leaving the library with a healthy stack of books to read in the month ahead.
  • My brother (a.k.a my partner in crime) and I escaping nap time by climbing out of the bedroom window when our nanny thought we were already asleep. Climbing up the papaya tree in our backyard and being unable to get back down when I realized how high I had climbed.
  • Learning to cook potato pancakes from my friend who lived down the street.
  • Baking rhubarb pie with my Mom.
  • Finally getting good at riding a bicycle.
  • Swimming until I became a prune.
  • Homemade Chinese with my Dad’s Chinese colleagues. I have yet to eat such amazing Chinese food again. The fried rice was divine, and the barbecued pork…heavenly.
  • Annual extended family get-togethers with my cousins and their parents. The mostest fun. Good food, lots of play, laughter and stories.
  • When our school administration invited a nationally-known magician to assembly and a few of us third-graders caught him doing a sloppy magic trick. In true kid fashion we shouted, “We saw him! That’s not magic!”
  • Jumping rope with classmates during recess, or playing hopscotch. I was pretty good at both, and I loved them.
  • Saturday morning TV shows. We once got into trouble because we wasted a whole Saturday morning and afternoon watching TV, instead of doing chores. Our parents took away TV-watching privileges for a month, and that was the longest month of our lives. And then I learned to live without TV, because I discovered far more interesting activities, like cycling.
  • Helping my paternal grandma make her special groundnut soup, and then eating it with sweet potatoes. One of the special meals of my childhood.
  • Visits from my maternal grandma–she was amazing, and we loved the special treats she brought. I may have been her favorite; she was definitely mine.
  • The one and only puppy we ever had, who overate every single day. He ate so much, that his belly touched the ground when he walked. I guess he believed in seizing the day. šŸ™‚

Image: Julien Tromeur

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