A Childhood Memory

My childhood has been fun. My parents divorced when I was four, but every February vacation my dad would take Dave and me on vacations. We've been to Disneyland, Disney World, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, all over Arizona and to Florida multiple times. Because of these trips, my passion for photography began, as well as my love of travel.

In my Memoirs/Nature Writing class I was asked to describe a specific childhood memory. Hmm. Which should I choose? I suppose I'll choose one of the youngest recollections I have, despite it being a tad hazy.

Back when I was three years old, I lived in Newton, New Hampshire. (This was when my parents were married.) Anyway, that May of 1998 my mom took my brother and I to Florida, along with our neighbors. The six of us stayed in a home belonging to a relation of our neighbor's. I remember swimming in the pool with my floaties while the "big kids" played around freely with the noodles. I was the youngest by four years. Sigh.

While on vacation we went to Busch Gardens where I was enthralled by the kiddie rides and a tropical bird pooped on my mom's head! We also had an old fashioned photo taken, which hangs on my wall and I can see it now. Although the photo is in sepia tone, I recall being placed in a ruffly pink gown that made me feel like a munchkin from the Wizard of Oz. To top it all off, they also tied me into a bonnet. Munchkinfied I was. I. Hated. It. At that point I wasn't really a girly girl. I wanted to wear a suit and act like a bandit as the big kids were doing. I felt so segregated at that point in time! Oh but I do cherish that photo now.

My favorite memory of this trip was the beach. Luckily my mom didn't bring down the hot pink bathing suit with blue bows, a little yellow poof out skirt, and a cut out so my tiny belly was exposed. Even at that point I was self conscious, and still not girly. (I actually have a picture of me bending over and looking through my legs because I didn't want my tummy to show!)

Anyway, I would run this bathing suit up to the age of five when I was heartbroken the day it wouldn't fit. The suit was a full one piece (yay!) and sky blue with a white stripe surrounding the perimeter. I would wear my hair in a single pony tail, and would flit about the pool like a chickadee. This time, I was at the beach!

I remember being alone and hunting for seashells. The sun was shining and the water wasn't a tropical blue, but the kind of grayish green we have in New England. I believe there were more hints of blue in this Florida brand, though. As with all Atlantic beaches, the scent of salt wafted around the air where all of us beach goers were consumed by it. Above seagulls patrolled the beach, searching for lunch. There were so many crab remnants of their previous meals that I felt sick and fascinated whenever I passed one. Being so small, I grew afraid of the seagulls!

This may seem like a typical memory, but it's more. At first I was all alone (despite the parental supervision eying me not too far away) because my brother had scampered off with our neighbors (one of who received a nasty sunburn that made her appear to have raccoon eyes!). I was used to this solitude, as DD only associated me when we were home alone and he was desperate for a way to pass the time. However, on this day I remember he darted toward me. I was surprised. Quietly he started searching for sea shells with me, and at one point he held my hand. For once I felt truly close to my brother, because he willingly left his friends behind to be with his little sister, Meggie. I will always remember that moment, and every one in the future where we bonded as friends, and not as siblings. That is why this particular beach memory will always be my favorite.

P.S. I will add pictures soon!