Elvis Presley once sang a song called Memories. Whenever I hear it, I quickly return to when I was a child growing up in Little Italy where I’d be sitting with my nose to the window watching the snow accumulate on the path leading to our home.
I also remember being no older than five years old, sitting on the floor playing with my toys while my mother cooked the Sunday family meal. I can still smell the delicious aroma of her Italian gravy (sauce).
I remember being ten and coming home from school for lunch. I spent my time in the kitchen wolfing down what she had taken all morning to prepare, so that I could watch The Flintstones before going back to school.
I remember spending summer nights running around my cousins’ street, chasing them in a game of Hide-and-Seek. My father and uncles would be playing cards in the kitchen while my mother and aunts would be cleaning up. I can’t forget having all the freedom in the world, with no responsibilities or worries.
I remember driving back home from a long trip in the country. My parents were chatting in the front seat of the car while I watched the stars twinkling through the rear window. It was then that my love for astronomy developed.
I remember the first time I felt absolute fear. I was eight and I was exploring my aunt’s garden in Italy. The next thing I remember was staring at a huge web spun across my path with the largest spider I’ve ever seen sitting in the center. It was also the first time I felt a lump in my throat.
I remember riding in the backseat of my uncle’s car. He smoked and the smell of the cheap polyester that covered everything had churned my stomach to the point where I threw my head out the passenger window and decorated the side of his vehicle with my partially digested lunch. I’ll never forget how patient and kind he was toward me, despite what I had done.
I remember the smell of fresh cut grass in the mornings when my dad would do the lawn.
I remember the smell of burning wood while I waited for my aunt to make popcorn the old fashion way. The memory of the sunset hitting the Italian Alps still hasn’t left me, even after all these years.
I remember spending time with my parents Sunday afternoons watching Godzilla movies on a small twenty-four-inch black and white TV.
I remember sitting in the living room watching my Saturday morning cartoons and remembering how my mom would bring me a bowl of carrots to keep me filled until lunch.
I remember the rain, the smell of it and the sound while I sat watching from my veranda.
I miss my childhood. I love the memories.
What do you remember from your childhood?