Remember that scene from the Sound of Music with the thunderstorm and the Von Trapp kids going to Maria’s room all frightened from the storm and the song she sang in that scene? If you don’t know the scene for some odd reason, please watch the youtube clip I posted at the end of this article. I know, I’m nice.
So, in view of the now daily disturbing news from Syria, Sudan, Yemen, the troubles in Greece and Spain, the economic problems everywhere, the killer from Norway, humanitarian suffering around the world, the bleak outlook for our future and our environment, with all that is occupying our psyche, it pays to go into a bit of healthy denial once in a while and think of nice things that once made us smile and go “aaaah”. Like the favorite things song from the Sound of Music.
I was recently trying to make a list of these little things that made me happy when I was a child, that I can recall every now and then as stress relievers. It made me happy to think of these things, so I thought I’d share them. You can make your own list, or post one on this blog in the comments section. Do what makes you feel peaceful and smily and forget the problems of the World for a little while.
Here goes, some of my favorite childhood moments:
Smell of fresh laundry, and freshly washed linen on my bed; the first spring blooms on the almond trees; licking the bowl used to mix the cake batter; smelling the notebooks’ plastic covers on the first day of school; going to the doctor for a checkup and discovering that only my sibling has to have the vaccination shot; the smell of new leather shoes -usually white- for Palm Sunday (or new shoes for any holiday); getting snowed in and having to miss school; having my parent all to myself when home sick from school; being picked for sports teams in school; and winning; finding money in my pocket; sitting in the living room tucked in a warm blanket, TV and all the food I like while home sick from school; finding a lost sock at the back of the drawer; childless friends of my parents giving us age inappropriate gifts or a large bill, much to my parents’ horror and to our utter joy; the first daisies in the spring sprinkled on the meadow next door; catching a firefly and putting it in a jar; getting a cute yellow chick for Easter – and blocking out that it usually died within the week; being allowed to wear red nail polish; removing the peeling nail polish with my teeth; wearing high heels and feeling ten years older (Respect!); the boy I like doing a double take when I walk in; getting a valentine from someone I like; being offered liqueur-filled chocolates in someone’s house and biting it quickly before my mom can yank it from my mouth; getting to sit in the front seat on a family trip; parents allowing me to stay up late watching TV with them until the thunderstorm passed; fresh thyme pies in the morning with very sweet tea; my ice cream cone lasting the longest in a group setting; winning a running race and touching the wall first; lasting longest in jump rope; not being recognized when in costume on the Lebanese version of Halloween-the Saint Barbara Day; getting the most candy; my new two front teeth finally replacing the ones that fell down filling the gaping holes in my smile; getting a bike with frills on the handles – and blocking the memory that it got stolen by people from Bsharre that same month (not that I hold any grudges or anything); getting the new issue of the mystery book series I so adored (the takhtakh Egyptian mystery books); cotton candy (the pink kind); my sister’s ice cream falling on the floor; being on my dad’s shoulders for any amount of time; listening to my parents tell stories and laugh; telling a joke with a good punch line and being asked to repeat it later; going to a party in new clothes and straightened hair and feeling oh so good; coming back from the party and talking about it with my friend till morning; first kiss and how one can’t sleep replaying it a million times; reading Barbara Cartland novels and day dreaming; catching the boy I like in school looking at me with dreamy eyes; getting to eat my name on my birthday cake; being allowed to drink coke for the first time; tasting coffee and pretending to like it; smoking by placing lit matches in my mouth and pretending to like it; drifting to sleep while my grandmother is telling us a story; hearing my favorite song on the radio; twice; popsicles-except for the lemon flavor; the first ice cream cone of the season;being put in charge of my siblings and feeling like a boss.
There, it made me feel better just to write about my favorite things. It made me smile, and feel pleasantly warm. How wonderful to go back to that care-free time called childhood, when all was rosy and all was hopeful. I wish life was like a dvd with scene selection, I would like to go back to the time of my life when I had absolute trust that everything is going to be fine. In some ways things did turn out fine, all things considered. I miss being with my noisy family, my sisters and brothers, my grandparents, my aunts, my cousins, the dragon lady neighbor, Nabiha (I’ll tell you all about her in another post). I especially miss my sister with whom I had so many fights and even more laughs growing up. That same sister is a great source of happiness now, and I hope for always. If only she would drop her ice cream more often.