Along For The Ride

Do I miss my childhood? I miss four things about being a kid: my Gram, the close relationship I had with my older brother, summers being something special, and the excitement of Christmas. And maybe MTV playing music videos.

I’m not secretive about not being a kid person. Not a very popular opinion, I know, but at least I’m consistent. I didn’t like kids even when I was a kid. I didn’t like being a kid.

Kids have no control over most of what happens to them.

Other people made my choices. My room was painted pink. I hated pink. I wanted my hair long. My Mom insisted on keeping it short. I cried every time she had it cut.

My older brother would babysit me during the summers. Mike wanted to play tennis with his buddy one day. He wouldn’t let babysitting cramp his style. Guess who had to go with them?

I couldn’t think of anything less fun than walking two miles in the blazing sun to watch sub-amateur tennis. Mike suggested I ride my bike. Did I mention the route was uphill? Huffing and puffing within a few blocks, my little legs couldn’t keep the pedals turning. So I had to walk two miles uphill in the blazing sun while pushing my bike.

Once at the courts, guess whose job it was to retrieve every unforced error (and there were many)? We still talk about that little outing.

On the other hand, I couldn’t think of anything more fun than baking (and eating) cookies. I asked to bake all the time and Mom rarely agreed.

“Why not,” I would whine.

“Because I don’t want to make cookies,” she would say.

“But I’ll do it,” I would insist.

“No, you’re too little. I’d have to help you and I don’t feel like making cookies right now.” Mom clearly identified with Hillary Clinton on making cookies.

Even as a preteen, I still wasn’t allowed. Although, I did almost set our house on fire twice during high school, so maybe she was right to keep me away from the oven.

Kids are annoying.

Kids have no self-control. Maybe because they have no say in anything else, they figure they might as well make everyone else miserable too.

I remember refusing to go to bed one night for my Gram. I danced around, sang at the top of my lungs, jumped on the couch, and generally acted like an escaped mental patient. Gram’s look said, “I’m too old for this shit.” Although she probably thought it in Polish.

I felt exhilarated and terrified. You see, I knew I was tired. I could barely stand up. But I had wired crazy kid brain. My misbehavior felt like something I watched happen rather than something I chose to do. I felt sorry for my Gram and I actually annoyed myself. I was powerless.

I can look back on my childhood fondly now. But I don’t really miss it.

This little uplifting piece was inspired by the memoir writing prompt at Write on Edge. The prompt asked us to use the image of the crayon for inspiration and to begin the post with the words… “I miss my childhood…” I feel the need to point out I wouldn’t have colored in pink even if that crayon were the only one left in the box.

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28 Responses to “Along For The Ride”

  1. Rebecca Latson Photography
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    I am so right there with you on the kid thing.

  2. Unmana
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    I am so glad I read this! I feel exactly the same way about kids: I didn’t even like myself as a kid! And I look around blankly when people share fond memories of school. I like my life NOW, when I can stay up till midnight and read a novel first thing in the morning if I want to (for ten minutes, before I get to work).

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:34 am #

      Yep, I dreamed of being a grown up. I like freedom! Thanks for reading!

  3. Tracy
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    I know how you feel. At first I thought it was cute that parents take their kids out to the cafes until Midnight or later here in Spain. But it’s not cute when you’re having a romantic date and there are two kids fork fighting right next to you. I give them a look like your grandma would give – but It’s not in Polish!

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:38 am #

      Ha! People here take their kids out pretty late too, not midnight, but past bedtime! Enjoy your time in Spain, Tracy!

  4. Rosenfried's Ramblings
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    maybe if you were allowed to do the things you truly loved then the outcome could have been different? do you like to bake now? good piece.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:42 am #

      I probably would’ve burned my house down! I do enjoy baking now. I started making crazy numbers of Christmas cookies during high school, which is a tradition that’s stuck.

  5. Kathleen
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    This is so honest. I loathed childhood, too, but I was always afraid of growing up. And there was so much I loved about it when it was over–but things not associated with childhood, but with where I lived (the farm) and how it shaped me. That’s what I wrote about today.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:48 am #

      Thanks, Kathleen. There was plenty of good stuff about my childhood. I just didn’t relish being a kid. I loved your post.

  6. Elaine
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Glad you didn’t “sugar coat” it, as they say. But this also makes me a little sad for you childhood…

    I do think that my oldest son may feel this way someday because I feel like he’s and “old soul” and that being a kid isn’t really for him. Does that make sense? I hope he has fond memories (I think we are making many) but I can see him being MUCH happier as an adult. Thanks for this perspective.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      Thanks, Elaine. I have fond memories of childhood–including the tennis thing, which I now find very amusing. I’m sure your son will too. I know exactly what you mean about being an “old soul.” I think that’s the way it was for me.

  7. Renee
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    I understand the kid thing. It’s why my daughter is an only child. I lack the necessary patience gene to deal with children. I read about everyone crying when their kids start kindergarten or preschool. I was celebrating. I think because I was a working single mom, I didn’t have the separation anxiety that stay at home moms do. I was already gone a lot.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:56 am #

      Thanks, Renee! Yes, I have paper thin patience myself. Probably why being a kid was so frustrating for me!

  8. Samantha
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    I enjoyed this. I think that I was the same way you were, not really enjoying being a kid because I never did a whole lot of “kid” things, I was the quiet one wandering by myself, and with my nose in a book constantly. I like being an adult where I can make my own decisions and decide what happens to me rather than depending on someone else.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      Thanks, Samantha! I totally feel you, I was really quiet most of the time too (except when overtired!).

  9. Galit Breen
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Actually, I think this is refreshing. I’m all about transparency. And that my friend- you’ve got. hat tip.

    My favorite was the shit thought in Polish. Somewhere, somehow- that’s classic. :)

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 1:04 am #

      Thanks, Galit! I almost didn’t bother with this prompt, because although I can be very nostalgic, I don’t really miss my childhood (high school and college, different story, sort of miss those days). But then I thought it might be fun to try to explain why not.

      I wish I knew how to spell my Gram’s Polish phrases.

  10. jenhasapen
    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Awww, I hate that you don’t have better memories from your childhood. I agree with you, though, kids are selfish. I love them, but agree they are selfish.

    • logyexpress
      Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 1:15 am #

      Oops. Thanks, Jen. Guess I missed the mark a little with my attempt at humor. I have good memories, I just wouldn’t want to go back. I prefer being in control. And I always had an awareness of my lack of control as a kid, control over what I was allowed to do and control over my own behavior. I still bristle when I feel like I don’t have choices.

  11. brittneehenry
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Very funny! Love it. Yes, I guess I steered clear of writing about the hair-raising adventures brought about by siblings and them being in charge… But loved that you included it in your memories of childhood. Good stuff!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks, Brittnee. I’m glad you liked the sibling story. I meant it to be funny…my poor brother probably didn’t love being saddled with a sister 9 years younger every summer, but most of the time he didn’t let it show!

  12. Andrea
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Love it. And you know what? THIS is why I bake with my daughter. Almost too often, but who cares,right? 😉

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      Thanks, Andrea! Yes, go bake! I bake way too much now!

  13. mugglemom71
    Friday, September 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    I TOTALLY get you on this. I am such a control freak, being a kid was hard because I wasn’t in charge. Being a teenager was harder, I couldn’t wait to get my license and freedom! I do have kids of my own now, this post reminded me not to be so controlling with them. The next time my daughter asks to make brownies (sorry, she likes those better than cookies), I will say yes.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 12:21 am #

      I didn’t want to come right out and say it, but I guess I’m a control freak too! I’m glad I’m inspiring Moms to bake more with their kids! Although if my Mom had let me make cookies every time I’d asked, I would have weighed 800 pounds. Thanks for visiting!

  14. Sumedha
    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    I agree! I think it’s horrible how kids don’t have any control over their lives whatsoever, especially babies. You can pick them up, put them down, dress them up in ridiculous clothing, show them off etc. At that point, they probably don’t mind. But you’re right – once you’re grown up a little bit, things bother you, but you still can’t control them. That’s awful.

    And GOD kids are annoying. Especially if you’re ever stuck on a plane with them for 18 (or even 3) hours. Or in a restaurant. Or a movie. Pretty much anytime when I want calm, and not loud noise.

    • logyexpress
      Monday, September 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      I’m very sensitive to noise (just wrote a post about it actually) and I definitely think that’s a key reason I’m not a kid person. Thanks for visiting!

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