A way to reconnect with childhood memories
Kid’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s not celebrated much in the United States, but it’s a big deal in Poland, where I grew up. It falls on different dates across the World, but a big chunk of countries celebrate it on June 1st, including Poland. I love this Holiday not only because parents shower you with kisses and candy, but also because I remember it as just being a very joyous and heartfelt occasion and now when the day rolls around, my heart retreats to those feelings of comfort. The TV would run special programs (there were only three channels on TV at the time – life before cable! – so any extra kids shows were always a treat!), and organizations would hold special fundraisers, concerts and activities to help kids in need. It’s always been one of my favorite memories to see the whole country come together like that.
Children’s Day may not be an official Holiday in the US, but I encourage you to celebrate your inner child, and let the spark of the little joys come out. Even if it’s just for one day amidst today’s busy lifestyle.
Ways to bring back out the kid in you
Here are 10 of my favorite simple childhood memories. Do you remember doing any of these?
- Jump jump jump – my toddler wakes up in the best possible way. Once he’s fully awake and ready to continue his toddler adventures, he bolts up in his crib and starts jumping. As soon as I join him in on the fun, he starts giggling uncontrollably. As a kid, a lot of our games involved jumping: from jump rope and jumping rubber band, to jumping off rooftops between sheds.
- Play Cops & Robbers with your neighbors – This has to be a staple of childhood games…and not the video game type, but the kind where you ran around the neighborhood, hid behind random houses and sheds (I grew up in an urban area), and yelled at the top of your lungs while chasing each other. Now, as a mom, the sound of kids laughing and playing outside is one of my favorite sounds.
- Lick a lollipop while sitting outside on the steps (even if it’s raining, as kids we didn’t care about rain!) Do you remember those lollipops that looked like a big circle and had a design in the center, like a flower, and each color was a different flavor? Maybe they only had them in Poland. Those were my favorite!
- Chew bubble gum – and blow bubbles, of course. My childhood was pretty much synonymous with Donald Duck chewing gum. I can still remember the way the ridges felt on my tongue, and how the sugary scent hit my nose and the sweetness spread over my tongue as I worked the solid brick into soft chewable texture. But the best part of Donald Duck chewing gum was the comic on the wrapper! I wish I had saved some of those.
- Walk to your friend’s house – I can’t fathom how many miles my friends and I walked while strutting all across town, picking up other friends along the way, and generally ending up at a pastry shop or a park to just hang out.
- Get caught in the rain making mud pies – a backyard, a wooden table, the clink of metal pots and cups, some dirt and a few puddles…and my mom couldn’t get me back in the house. It’s a good thing I had galoshes.
- Read a book for fun – as I get older and my life gets more hectic, I find it harder and harder to justify reading a fiction book for fun. I find time to read or listen to educational and business books, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for a good novel to curl up with in my favorite chair, preferably with a cup of hot cocoa…or a glass of wine. Or both. So give yourself permission to grab a fun read and lose your mind in it.
- Play dress up and pretend – it is so much fun watching my littlest try on everyone else’s shoes and shuffle his way around the house, with a big smile beaming on his face. As kids, we don’t need a reason to dress in funky clothes and dive into our pretend land, but as grownups our “excuse” to play dress up dwindles to Halloween. We need another day to dress funky, and what better time than Kid’s Day.
- Twirl – Can’t afford the Amusement Park, no problem! Just twirl yourself silly! Then try to walk in a straight line.
- Swing up high – my husband and I were taking a walk at our favorite spot a few weeks ago (just the two of us in a rare kid-less moment) and I hopped on a swing. It took a little more effort than I remember, but after a few huffs and puffs my body felt like it was flying through the air. Aside from worrying that the swing might snap under my big girl weight, I let myself enjoy the wind in my hair and the tickling in my stomach.
- Monkey bars – and sometimes, you just have to let yourself monkey around.
What are some of your favorite memories as a child?