My Childhood

July 16, 2018

My childhood tasted like mint leaves. They would grow along the side of our house and I remember going out there as a child and chewing them. My childhood tasted like the honeysuckles in Alex's backyard. It tasted like the guayabas littering our own backyard, and fighting our siblings for the ones that my mom peeled. It was the cherries that my family would devour not long after they entered our home. It was cream soda and "fizzy water." My childhood tasted like dixie salad and calling dibs on the beaters covered in whipped cream. It was Home Depot hot dogs on Saturdays with Dad. It was Dippin' Dots and walks to get snow cones. It was Marble Slab trips.
My childhood smelled like the creek water my friends and I would wade into. It smelled like the sweat drenching us on bike rides with my dad. My childhood smelled like L'Oreal detangler for my waist-long hair. It was salty air on Florida vacations. It was our dog Lukie, who I eventually started calling "Smelly" (much to my mom's dismay). It was donuts at early-morning seminary. It smelled like Mom's amazing cooking. It was the smell of hairspray when I thought I was "scene." It was the thick air at my first concert, accompanied by my dad. It smelled like the crunchy leaves we'd rake in the fall. It was our chlorine-drenched hair at our public pool trips in the summer.
My childhood looked like fireflies surrounding us on the summer nights. My childhood looked like fighting over which movies were "ours" rather than our siblings'. It was searching through garage sales on Saturday mornings. It was ballet classes, Saturday soccer games, and hula-hooping at talent shows. It looked like the treehouse in our backyard (turned clubhouse in our backyard). My childhood was learning to drive with Sloan and Deidre. It was knocking on my neighbors' doors asking if they could play. It was watching all of the dogs (and petting as many as we could) in the neighborhood Fourth of July parade. My childhood was pretending to be asleep in the car so that Dad would have to carry me in. It was the annual Sock Hop in elementary.
My childhood sounded like singing Spice Girls with my sister and our neighbors. It was Bollywood songs in the back of Khadeeja's mom's minivan. My childhood was listening to my dad telling us his Johnny Mouse story. It sounded like Julian's loud, annoying rock music that I just didn't get. It was my dad's old truck shifting gears. My childhood was laughing on my cousins' trampoline during visits to Utah. It was my mom singing Tom Jones. My childhood sounded like talking on the ham radio with Dad on Sunday nights. It was crap music at church dances with Lesley. It was the songs that played on our MySpace pages. It was singing in the Primary Program and fighting over which member of McFly was the cutest.
My childhood felt like short summers where I spent every day reading, with frequent visits to the library with Alex. It was my baby blanket, passed down from David and then Julian (it was more a rag than a blanket anyway). It felt like calluses on my hands from climbing way too many trees. It was the wind in my hair driving in our old van. My childhood felt like petting cats and fighting over who got to be the dog piece in Monopoly. It felt like the unbelievably hot water my Dad used to wash dishes. It was mosquito bites in the summer and refusing to wear jackets in the Texas winter. It felt like sunburns from Girls Camp.
It feels so long ago and it went by so fast.

Yours truly,
McKay

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