Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rearview Mirror

Remember when you had a bedtime? Remember when someone carried you when you got 

tired of walking? Remember when you wiped your nose on your sleeve?    Remember metal 

lunchboxes?  Remember when you didn’t have to plan or even pack for vacations?  Remember 

when you would run—really sprint—for no reason at all?  Remember when Smurfs and 

Matchbox cars were children’s entertainment, and actually entertained us for hours? 

Remember when someone had to remind you to take a shower? Remember when you used 

phonetics and mnemonics to spell words?  Remember when staying up until midnight was a 

special treat?  Remember when you made a Chanukah or Christmas list?  Remember when you 

had a birthday party every year?  Remember when you were always a passenger in a car?  

Remember when you chose foods based wholly on smell and/or appearance?  Remember when 

you traded brown-bag lunches with a friend?  Remember when you didn’t know (or care about) 

the monetary value of things?  Remember when you had to be dropped off and picked up in 

order to see a movie?  Remember when you had to ask to eat candy?  Remember when you 

routinely forgot to brush your teeth? Remember when you actually wore a bathing suit with 

socks and sneakers?  Remember when you played hopscotch or kickball or wiffle ball for 

hours?  Remember when sundown signaled the end of your day?   Remember when you stored 

your money in your sock drawer, or a piggy bank?  Remember when growing up seemed the 

ultimate goal?  Remember when you built your first snowman?  Remember when you didn’t 

know what the words calorie or carbohydrate or protein meant?  Remember when you had to 

get up to change the channel on the television?  Remember when summer meant more than 

warm weather? Remember when you didn’t want to sleep late? Remember when you tried to 

catch your dolls and stuffed animals talking, or having a party, without you?  Remember when 

you played House?  Remember when you played Bank? Remember when you intricately folded 

notes to friends?  Remember TV Tag?  Remember when you needed permission to chew gum? 

Remember when the arrival of the ice cream man was cause for celebration?  Remember when 

you used to get reprimanded for sliding your sneakers on without untying the laces? 

Remember when getting dressed up for an occasion was exciting?   Remember when you 

jumped into puddles rather than walking around them? Remember when you danced in a 

torrential downpour?  Remember when a snow day meant no school, unlimited hot chocolate 

and watching The Magic Garden?  Remember when you went sneaker shopping twice a year?  

Remember using oaktag for school projects?  Remember when you sent—and then had to wait 

to receive—letters in the mail?  Remember when a phone call cost a dime? Remember when 

you didn’t know how to drive and, while you were learning, it seemed like a skill you couldn’t 

conquer?  Remember how free you felt when you passed your driver’s test?  Remember when 

homework and an extracurricular club meeting seemed like a busy night?  Remember when you 

didn’t attempt to interpret your dreams?  Remember when you spent hours creating mix 

tapes? Remember when you fell in love on a weekly basis?   Remember when doing laundry 

was a total mystery?  Remember when you didn’t know too much about the celebrities you 

liked?  Remember when you had to stop at a gas station to use the pay phone so you could 

call someone?    Remember when you thought college was as great as life could get?  

Remember the first full meal you cooked? Remember when the thought of having a child was 

merely abstract?  Remember when you didn’t pay attention to (or understand) the economy, 

the environment, the state of health care or what the U.S. government is up to?  Remember 

when you only thought about yourself?  Remember when you realized life is so much fuller, so 

much more exciting, and just so much better now that you share it with others?

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