View Full Version : What is your happiest childhood memory?

11-03-2005, 01:08 AM
In honor of Paprikapink, how about a thread where the focus is all positive? (I can hear the mischevious minds tinkering around) What is the singlemost happy memory of your childhood?

My happiest childhood memory is actually a collection of the same activity. Walking to church with my dad. When I was a little girl, he and I would walk to church together, ahead of the rest of the family.

He'd hold my hand and if I asked him to run, he'd run. If I asked him to skip, he'd skip. If I asked him to hold my imaginary doll, he would. If I asked him to piggyback me, he would. My dad's great.

Honey Nut Loop
11-03-2005, 01:33 AM
does getting my first pony count or make me sound like a spoilt brat:tongue ?

11-03-2005, 03:03 AM
No one can judge what creates a happy memory for anyone. You don't sound spoiled. You sound privelaged, and there's a difference. I always wanted a horse. Daddy even told me (again, referring to that happy childhood) that he wished he could buy me a Tennessee Walker, although I have no idea what differentiates one horse from another aside from the obvious unusual breeds.

11-03-2005, 03:51 AM
Flying with my dad. He had his private pilot's license. One morning he woke me up early and said, "Debbie, want to fly to Gander for lunch?". So we flew there, landed at the airport, had lunch, (I bought a souvenier in the gift shop - I still have it today) and then just flew right on home again. It was pretty neat. He's been dead for 24 years now so the memories are even more special. :)

Lantern Jack
11-03-2005, 04:53 AM
My most jubilant childhood recollection is probably the sperm whale expedition at Cape Cod I attended when I was five. I kept chucking things at their blowholes, figuring, if something went in, the cachalot in question would swell up and explode and then I'd finally get to try sushi! I'd seen Grover eat it on Sesame Street but my mother refused to buy any because I'd also seen the Cookie Monster eat steamed cauliflower, had demanded that, then refused to eat it when it was set before me. I'd thought it was brains when I saw it on the tv, but my mother made the faux pas of telling me it was just a vegetable.

11-03-2005, 04:59 AM
I had a great childhood, growing up in a small town, in a huge house, with good parents. I was popular in school, was good in music and excelled in sports. Even though I had rheumatic fever for 4 years and was only allowed to sit out recess and not play, I still had a great time.

We took vacations every year, to Colorado camping and hiking, mostly. I don't think I could pick one special memory, just one long, satisfying good time.

Unfortunately, it all ended too soon when my dad died of cancer and my brother was killed in a car accident. My mom lives across the country and never really got over my brother's death. My sister is on heroin.

So, all my good good memories are of my childhood. But, they are smothered in a melancholy haze.

William Haskins
11-03-2005, 06:09 AM
stealing my first car.

11-03-2005, 06:24 AM
I'd have to say playing freely outdoors every day after school. My best friend and I would go off into the forest seeking adventure, magic, and foreign lands. We named the most remote scrubby region "The Netherlands." Why? I suppose because it seemed so far, far away.

That was before kids wore helmets while riding their bikes, and before parents freaked out wondering if their kids were safe. No one knew where we were. We were often not safe. LOL.

11-03-2005, 06:25 AM
stealing my first car.
first, eh?

11-03-2005, 06:46 AM
No one knew where we were. We were often not safe. LOL.
Grumble growl. I was always safe. Blast it! I was never allowed to go anywhere on my own and the neighborhood kids were big fat tattletales if I tried.

11-03-2005, 07:03 AM
Grumble growl. I was always safe. Blast it! I was never allowed to go anywhere on my own and the neighborhood kids were big fat tattletales if I tried.
It's funny that I was off about and unaccounted for, because my mother is a real worrywart. But there was a boundary to the woods, so as long as she had a general idea of where we were, she was OK. Anything "unsafe" about our lives was our own fault, too.

11-03-2005, 07:51 AM
I have a couple, actually.

My favorite-favorite is of my dad, sitting beside my bed nearly every night of my childhood, and telling me off-the-cuff stories until I fell asleep. He included every character in a child's knowledge. In the stories, I got to play with the Muppets, all the Disney characters, Puff the Magic Dragon...you name it, he probably told me an original story about them at one time or another. I'd be a very rich girl right now had either one of us had the foresight to audio-cassette record them, clean them up and then publish them as children's stories. But I'm not sure I would...those were my stories.

The second one is coming in the house after a long day of sleigh riding and propping my cold feet up in front of the fire. I can still almost feel the prickly-tingly feeling in the soles of my feet when I think about it.

September skies
11-03-2005, 08:04 AM
I long for those days when we could be unaccounted for - for hours. We lived next to a river. I'd spend all day at the river, barefoot - running around and swimming. My mom would stand on the back steps and yell our names while hitting two forks together. We knew that meant it was time to come home, supper was ready, or whatever. But I remember being gone from morning till late afternoons. (sometimes run home at lunch just long enough to eat)

Another memory I'll always remember is getting my first doll. I guess we were really poor - though I never knew it. I mean, we always had food and clothes but could never buy anything else. I had 10 siblings at the time and I was 8 when I got my first doll. I hugged it and cried. It was a chubby little boy doll and I still have it. He sits on a closet shelf and I occasionally still hug him and get teary thinking of the day some stranger (a woman) came with that box of toys - one for each of us.

11-03-2005, 08:13 AM
All my favorite childhood moments center around a stretch of beach near Cape May, NJ. I grew up there next to the Delaware Bay and would spend a lot of time on the beach, just playing in the dunes, fishing on the jetty and hanging out with the old men who were there to fish as well. We were free to travel pretty much through out the town, but then so was everyone else. The farthest I would go was about two or three miles from home. We just had to call mom when we got there and when we were leaving. If there was a phone available, that is. Geeze, I still remember what it was like NOT to have a cell phone.

11-03-2005, 08:54 AM
Although it meant months of financial strain afterwards, my mom was a master at creating a scene of unadulterated joy on Christmas morn. One year it was brand new bikes under the tree, another it was tickets in our stockings to The Nutcracker at the San Francisco Ballet.

I also remember the day I first, finally, learned to ride a bike. I was twelve. All the kids in the neighborhood were coaching and cheering me on and watching for cars while I went over and over coasting down a driveway into the street until I could finally do it and pedal down the street.

My folks were divorced, so we had regular "play-dates" with my dad. He would take us out for dinner two or three nights a week. After dinner we would go to a bookstore or a playground or just stroll through Berkeley. I still love to walk around town at night. I grew up believing it was a good thing to have divorced parents because we spent so much time with our dad when he was just paying attention to us; no one else I knew did that.

(It is something of a challenge to tease a happy memory out of the complex miasma of childhood isn't it? Pull one happy memory and how many frustrating, sad, or sordid ones get dragged along?)

11-03-2005, 06:33 PM
Two come quickly to mind -

One was the babysitter we had when I was real young who liked to tell us stories from a giant imaginary storybook that he would pull from an imaginary library that fit in his pocket. He used to make these ridiculous slurping noises to imitate the sound of turning pages and would make a real show of licking his thumb every time.

(Sadly, he wound up in an institution for a while when he was older. I guess that much creativity really was dangerous.

But this one is my favorite by far:

Before he took up basketball as a hobby, my father was an extremely talented piano player (as he should be after 23 years of piano lessons). Once a month, a friend of my mother's and her husband, Grandma Lucille and Uncle Arthur, would come over for dinner. (Don't ask me how a grandma became married to an uncle. They weren't related to me anyway.) Uncle Arthur was as good a violin player as my father was a piano player and after dinner, they would spend the rest of the night playing Beethoven and Schubert duets, Mozart concertos and an occasional DeBussy piece.

Naturally, the kids were all supposed to be asleep, but every time Uncle Arthur came over, I would sneak out of bed and sit at the top of the stairs and listen to them play. I am genuinely sorry for people who never get the chance to hear music like that played in their own homes. It's a truly remarkable experience.

11-03-2005, 07:19 PM
Pconsidine, I'm jealous...though my mom did play piano, too, but not the great classics...

My happiest childhood memories are of being away at summer camp each summer. Camp was in the Adirondacks in Pennsylvania--a beautiful, rustic setting with lots of trees, log cabins, and wonderful, loving staff. I loved it there, and 2 weeks was too short of a time. I used to fantasize about growing up to be a camp director, and living there the rest of my life.

11-03-2005, 09:19 PM
Spending large parts of the summers and school vacations with my great-grandmother and great-great aunt. My brothers and I were very attached to them, because we lived in a trailer behind my great-great aunt's house until I was six, and my great-grandmother lived next door. Until we moved away, we were with them basically all the time. So those vacation periods were something we all looked forward to (not to mention the weeks at a time with virtually no parental discipline to worry about).

12-04-2005, 06:13 AM
My happiest childhood memory was when my dad took me to the zoo when I was very little. He bought me all kinds of goodies, but I didn't want any of it. I kept asking for 'goolick' but he didn't know what that was. He felt bad, but he kept buy more and more treats. When we came home, he asked my mom what 'goolick' meant. She laughed and said "Oh, Lou, that's chocolate!" And to this day 'goolick' is still my favorite sweet! Even then I knew my dad tried very hard to get me just what I wanted.

12-04-2005, 09:28 AM
Dad played the banjo and mom took me to the library.

Nothin' like either.

12-04-2005, 10:21 AM
Jumping into bed with my parents before Dad got up to go to work. I was little enough to sit up on Dad's bent knees as he lay on his back (Dad normally took me, and Mum took my little sister) and slide to his stomach as if he were a slippery-dip. Sometimes, Dad would collapse his knees before I'd slide and I'd crash down upon him in a fit of the giggles. Hmm, that would've hurt him, huh? :o

I also loved it when Dad would grab my hand, palm up, and trace circles on it while citing, "Round and round in circles, like a teddy bear..." I always giggled as soon as he started - and curled up in a tight ball of "no-go-zone" when he got to the ..."tickle under there!" bit.

My hubby and I introduced both of these things to our own kids (and the teddy bear rhyme inspired part of my first novel :) ).

12-04-2005, 09:48 PM
Fishing with my father at Marion Lake in Kansas. My brother was always going to go, but at three in the morning he usually changed his mind. So there I was, second string and ready.

Sometimes we even went the evening before so we could catfish late into the night. I caught my first northern pike there, and my fist crawdad.

Turned out, I was the 'son' my brother never figured out how to be.


12-04-2005, 11:25 PM
My favorite childhood memory would have to be going out on the boat with my family. We'd spend the entire Saturday on the water. Some days we'd tie off the boat at an obscure island and swim for a few hours or picnic on the beach.

And my dad always let me drive the boat.

Cathy C
12-04-2005, 11:44 PM
My favorite childhood memory is also a Christmas one. I remember it so distinctly, even though much of that time is a bit of a blur. I had just turned six and my father had planned for the whole year to buy a new car, a big '67 Mercury sedan. But he'd been working such long hours that he hadn't been able to get down to the dealership until just before Christmas. Well, that year, the dealership was doing a special promotion -- buy a new car and get a big stuffed animal for each of your kids. Now, you know the kind I'm talking about -- the BIG stuffed animals you see as the largest prize at a carnival. The ones as tall as . . . well, a six year old. You could also pick a doll but, oh, those animals!

Dad piled us all in the present car and drove it down to the dealership. It was after hours on Christmas Eve, but he knew the manager, who agreed to meet him down there and finish the paperwork so that Dad could take the car home that night in time to drive to a big meeting out of state a few days after Christmas. Dad sent me and my two sisters out to the "toy pile" in the dealership show window to pick out our stuffed animal. I had my heart set on a pink and black zebra that was nearly pony sized. It was strong enough to sit on its back and my feet dangled.

So, once Dad and the manager came out of the office, they shook hands and Dad told us to get our toys and let's get home. My sisters couldn't decide between about three each. Dad got a bit impatient and growled at us to finish up so we could get home to dinner and let the nice manager get home too.

The manager looked at my sisters and told my Dad that since the promotion technically "over" since the next day was Christmas, why didn't we take whatever we wanted. He was going to give the rest of the toys to the staff for their kids, but we could have first shot. "Heck," he said, "Just fill up the car. Whatever will fit in the back seat and trunk, is yours to keep!"

:eek: OMG! :banana:

We have pictures that show the stack of toys surrounding the tree that year. They were about twelve deep and several feet high. (My dad was an excellent car packer... ;) )

And yes, I got the zebra! :D