Happiest Little Girl in the World

…That would be me, in the mid and early 1980’s. I had the best childhood any kid could ever ask for. There were no trips to Disney, no fancy summer camps, or anything like that. We just used our imaginations and created our own magic. From board games to hide and seek to our treasure hunt bike trails and our dance routines, our club house….and so much more, we always had something fun going on.

But the main reason why my childhood was so wonderful and magical was because of the heaven-sent parents the Lord chose for my sisters and me. They did a wonderful job of shielding and protecting us from the many dangers that hunt so many children and rob them of their childhood. As we got older, of course, they had to slowly let us find our own way in this world, but they certainly laid a solid foundation for us.

I miss the innocence and magic of my childhood so much. So much actually, that years ago I started having these dreams where I am a little girl again. I am very happy and without a care in the world. I’m protected, stress-free, and oblivious to the many ills of the world. I’m playing and enjoying myself, and then suddenly in the dream, the realization comes that this sweet and innocent candy-coated world of mine will not last forever. In the dream I begin to realize the harshness and cruelty that awaits me when around age 11. Things such as puberty, certain family members turning to drugs, the neighborhood becoming violent and beginning to deteriorate, my cousins and friends starting to take a  faster and negative path in life, noticing and experiencing sexism and hatred against females, becoming more  aware of racism….I could list many more things, but basically those are the things I woke up to once my dreamy, lovely childhood was over. It is almost like my entire world changed over night.

Besides those heavy things, things like Saturday morning cartoons, family-friendly and classy Black sitcoms, classy music and videos….playing all the yard games, board games, dance routines, riding our bikes miles away from home, going on long walks away from home, etc would also be coming to an end as everyone grew up, found different interests, and the entertainment world changed for the worse.

So about 2 weeks ago, I had the dream again. I was in my childhood home, walking through the long brown hallway. I had my long ponytails, and was smiling and as happy as they come. Then it hit me that eventually I’m going to grow up. As in all of my dreams like this, I began crying hysterically in the dream and shouting over and over how much I do not want to grow up. I cry so hard in the dream that I can actually (physically, as in real life) feel the tears in my eyes and I can feel the lump in my throat as I sleep. I would wake up with actual tears in my eyes.

But this dream was very different!

In this dream, as I was crying, someone (I don’t know who it was–it was a female), but someone brought Megan to me. In the dream, I was told that it’s time to stop crying and stop grieving for my childhood. The message was now that I have Megan, I can use those same memories as a way to create  magical and wonderful childhood memories for Megan. She is my new magic, innocence, wonder, joy, happiness, and everything that my childhood represented; I can find it in Megan.

So actually, it’s not the end of my childhood. It’s actually a new beginning.

Remembering a Special Childhood Friend

((I wrote this about 11 years ago for one of my former websites at the time. Our house was the hangout spot for all the neighborhood kids on our street. I think I had the best childhood ever. During the summer a bunch of kids would be at our house from as early as 9 am and stay around until 8 or 9 pm (or whenever my mama called us in). During the school year, after we finished our homework, we would also be outside for hours until mama called us in.))

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During the summer, Tookie would be on my porch at about 9 or 10 am, asking me to play UNO with him. We played many games in my neighborhood, but sometimes we would start the day off with hours of UNO. Sometimes Tookie would put his younger cousin Dusty up to the task of asking me to play UNO. After a while Dusty, who was about 7, and I, who was about 11, would sit on the porch at night and have these long conversations with each other.

 

I remember one night, just for a little moment,  I became a little jealous of Dusty when he told me that he was taking Spanish. I didn’t believe him, so I asked, “How do you say ‘house’ in Spanish?” I just knew he would not be able to answer that because I just randomly picked a word. In fact, I did not know a word of Spanish at the time (though in High School I would be chosen Most Outstanding Student in Spanish). So I was thinking, how could this little 7-year-old know how to say “house” in Spanish & me, a big 11 year old, not know any Spanish.  Then Dusty smiled at me and said “CASA!!”

Dusty was always smiling, and was a total sweetheart. He had smooth, caramel-brown skin and soft, curly hair. If I could have chosen any boy from the hood to be my little brother, I would have chosen Dusty. He died in 2000 at the age of 17 from a heart attack. (No, he was not overweight).

After he died, I kept saying that I wish I could have hugged him. So one night I had this dream that went back to my childhood. We were kids again & I got my hug in the dream, which made me wake up feeling relieved somehow.

Dusty, we sure did have a lot of fun didn’t we?:+)

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