When I was a kid, there was this gap at the very top of my basement stairwell. My cousins and I would line the floor of the basement with pillows and jump from the top onto the limestone floor.
With no regard for our immediate safety, we would dive head-first into the shallow ocean of pillows lined on the ground. 4 inches of cotton protected our soft developing noggins from immediate death or future of vegetative paraplegia.
Those were the best days and pretty funny in hindsight. Inexplicably stupid and dangerous, but still funny- since we survived without too much emotional trauma.
Those singular moments in my youth encapsulate many of the ideas that I had of childhood. Bold, daring, incomprehensible dumb stuff done by starry-eyed ignorant dreamers. The ones that had irrational arguments about toys and desserts.
Thinking about the amount stupid things I did as a child puts a reminiscing, fond smile on my face. I don’t remember a lot of it, but those stark nuggets of memory are the ones that make childhood so great for me personally.
I remember when fireworks hit the back of my head as a kid. It was the 4th of July and we were at my babysitter’s house. There were these spinner rockets that whistled loudly as they spun in rapid 360-degree motion. That motherfucker spun 9 times in quick succession and hit the back of my head, singeing my cranium and the hair covering it.
My follicles were left burnt and crisp, smelling like both melting wax and hot coals. I ran around the neighborhood crying and flailing my arms like a tantric airplane.
Another funny memory that sticks out in my childhood was at summer camp. Summer camp was lit, for sure. No learning and all play; that’s the life to live right there.
At eight, there was this field trip to the local semi-pro baseball team. We were able to talk with all these grown-ass men sitting in the locker rooms bullshitting to us kids about the importance of hard work etc. etc. etc.
The only thing that us boys really noticed though was a stack of nudie magazines piled precariously on a nearby bench in the locker room.
“Hahaha, what the hell? What the hell are these and what are these guys doing with these” most of us thought, well as close as a kid could come to think that.
That shit was crazy, I’ll never forget the utter indifference these grown-ass, sweaty, half-naked men had to preserve our innocence- I might’ve grown a chest hair that day, I don’t know. That was a vividly weird memory.
When you’re a kid, you have this sense of awe-inspiring energy and charisma. For me, I just kind of thought of something and did it. Nothing seemed that far out of reach.
Imagination was the vehicle for every adventure you’d ever have: manning your own cardboard ship on the mulch seven seas, intense lava monster sessions, back alley popsicle-stick knife fights. They all existed with that sheen of vividness only childhood can paint.
I swear childhood of in itself is like being on drugs. Children are so able to convince themselves of these fantastical worlds that they live in. As adults, unless you’re on drugs or have an unfortunate disorder, you aren’t able to comprehend that.
We’re easily dismissive of that type of outlook when much older. All that kiddie shit feels more irrelevant when you’ve got your projects, finances, relationships, and other affairs to get into order.
I look back at my childhood in shock at such rose-tinted wonder and how grand the world really seemed at the time.
With my small body and tiny appendages, any typical building up to procedural code seemed like a towering palace in my presence. Everything just felt so goddamn impressive to my star-struck, bugged out eyes.
That mystified sense of awe is one of the absolute greatest things about childhood. Nothing seemed out of sorts. It just was- and it was amazing how everything just fit into place like that.