As you get older in life, time becomes relative. In my youth it felt like the summer would last forever and I would count down to the beginning of school. Most kids will claim the exact opposite, not me though. Money was tight for us then, but I only know that NOW. There weren’t that many activities outside of the house that I was allowed to do. Those were the days where you had to be super creative to not be bored. Back then there wasn’t the technology of today. If it weren’t for the good ole’ Bridgeport Public Library, two blocks from my house, I am sure I would have lost my mind. The summer would crawl but then the next thing I would know, it was August again. The sales would be arriving in the newspaper. Signs would be hung up at the Hi-Ho Mall (no longer there) and I knew that I would be getting something new for school. It was my Christmas in August. I’m not sure if you’ll remember the fun things I am about to list, I may be dating myself here ( :-O if you turn your head sideways to the left, that is my gasping face.) These are the top three things I looked forward to picking out for the new school year.
- NEW sneakers. Now I know that there were a ton of brands at Sears but the ones that were in budget were these bad boys, L.A. Gears….I remember trying to ask for the ones that had the light up bottom, but I got SHUT down.
- A NEW book bag. For whatever reason, I never liked getting a character type book bag, or maybe that is how I remember it. I always had a simple, solid color, bag. There might have been an incident where I pleaded for one, maybe Strawberry Shortcake or She-ra, and didn’t get it. I might have been so traumatized by the NO, that I have created the memory where I only think I wanted solid colored book bags. I’m not sure, just saying its possible.
- A NEW coat. I recall this memory vividly. My mom and I were standing in Burlington Coat Factory, all their coats were on the lower level, I wanted this beautiful brown satiny like jacket, with this tribal print along the collar in black and white velvet, and along the edge of the collar hung white stringy fur. It was expensive. My mom wanted me to try on other coats but I ONLY wanted that one. I thought, HOW COOL WILL I BE AT SCHOOL IN THIS COAT. She bought it for me. Even though IT WAS expensive. When school started, and it was time to wear our new coats, everyone was wearing sports jackets, with basketball or football teams. WHAT?! I hated my coat then and pleaded with my mom for a new one. If I could go back in time I would slap myself. However, I have to remember that I was a kid, a HUGE nerd, who just wanted to fit in with the rest of the kids. I wanted to belong, but never felt I had anything to connect to them.
Its funny, now everything seems a blur. Time seems to go by so fast now. You blink and its the next season. I think back on elementary school now and no matter what NEW thing I got, it still didn’t give me that connection I thought I’d get from it. It was never THE name brand that was popular at the time. Remember the important things in life are not material things!
What I was shocked to learn was that kids, sometimes, are not so horrible. There are kids who will pick on you because you’re clothes are not a label. There are kids that will make stupid comments to you just to see if they can get under your skin. BUT there are kids who will stick up for you, who will get in between you and the idiot kids, who will protect you and who will be your friend regardless of what you’re wearing or what you do not have. Those are the friends I keep today, those same kids from elementary school. Their qualities were a must have, of the people I looked for later on in life, to give the honored title, Friend. I wouldn’t trade that for all the Fila sneakers and She-ra book bags in the world.
What are some of the important things in life you’ve learned along the way?