Category Archives: childhood

memories gather and dance.

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Toy Department during Christmas season in the J.L. Hudson store, Detroit – 1957

 loved this view of the toy department at the store during the Christmas season.

toys were displayed on shelves, tables, and display cases,

with decorations featuring elves, a sleigh, and reindeer in background.

this is where i went every year

all dressed up fancy

to buy little gifts (with help from the elves) for my family

to see santa

to have a special lunch

 always, always amazed

by the glamour and magic of it all.

“like snowflakes, my christmas memories gather and dance –

each, beautiful, unique, and gone too soon.

-deborah whipp

 

credits: detroit memories, linda yates rudnicki, j.l. hudson’s

the land of your childhood.

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first snow of the year – outdoor adventure day

first time with sustained snow play for many

running, jumping, sticks, snow angels, footprints, chasing,

snow picnic, snow story, snowballs, duck,duck,polar bear game,

lost mittens, noses running, rosy cheeks

eating lots and lots and lots of snow

one said it was the best snack in the world

and it just might be.

 

“there is no land like the land of your childhood.”

-michael powell

hot stuff.

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i loved wearing the costumes of my childhood era

and happily ‘suffered for my art.’

recent neighborhood nextdoor comments on the halloween costumes are wonderful:

They were so ugly but if you made your own costume, it wasn’t cool. We had to buy these things…jumpsuit tore easily, and elastic snapped off mask. And the sweat…and trying to breathe through the tiny mouth hole!

Those masks were so HOT! Didn’t hold us back tho! Was so safe then and went out by ourselves.

You couldn’t see out of them, sometimes the parts that touched your face were sharp, the elastic that held it on got tangled in hair. It is a wonder we survived Halloween in these masks!

then the elastic broke so your mom tied it and was even tighter and hotter! 

 and tangled it whatever hair was still left!

I’m surprised there weren’t thunderstorms inside the mask with all the condensation from breathing too. My favorite was my Hot Stuff costume. I still have a picture of me in it!


I totally had one of these costume with the mask…but this…this looks like a Pink Floyd video.

It was miserable wearing those masks, but we didn’t care, we wanted that candy !!

Looking back at those costumes, they were actually a little creepy!!  

How about the little tiny slit near the mouth so that you could attempt to get air? Your parents couldn’t understand why you had to take it off before you went up the steps of the next house. Your face would be drenched with sweat but you would wipe it off and keep going.

Made of suffocating plastic but we loved them anyway.

happy halloween!

“when you’re wearing an animal costume and something bad happens,

your facial expression doesn’t change. the animal is deadpan the whole time.

if you’re skiing in a gorilla suit and you fall, you just see a gorilla who has no emotion.

it’s just a stoic gorilla wildly falling down a hill, out of control.”

-dimitiri martin 

photo credit: vintage pinterest

in it.

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with the return of the school year

comes the return of our outdoor adventure days.

 

“we could have never loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.”

-george eliot

 

 

crack the whip.

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“crack the whip’ sculpture – sunset hills, flint, mi

j. seward johnson, sculptor

being the youngest in our neighborhood gang

i was often the smallest

finding myself on the end of ‘the whip’ during this game

sometimes it felt like i was flying

and highly likely that i was.

“being smart as a whip means knowing when not to crack it’

-vera nazarian

 

 

beginning.

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the little ones came to school

most for the first time ever

 filling our room with emotion and energy

a few minutes into our day

one had me write

an urgent note to her mom

that read:

“bring the car!”

we’re all tired and mostly all happy

tomorrow we begin again.

“be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”

-meister eckhart

at the school show.

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one of my favorite things

is to go to school shows

i love every kind of kid up there

 bored

nervous

awkward

moving

bouncing

spinning

hiding in back

 overly enthusiastic

staring straight ahead

giggling

belting it out

faking the lyrics

wearing mismatched shoes

in a fancy outfit

whispering to a stage neighbor

giving it their all

waving to family

looking proud

non-stop smiling

have their own rhythm different from the rest

whether

dancing

singing

acting

playing anything that makes a musical sound

performance art

athletic feats

comedy

any kind of talent show

poetry reading

costumed or not.

i am all in.

“sometimes I was in school plays,

but only when the kid they’d originally picked got sick and they asked me to substitute.”

-peter falk

“i remember acting in a school play about the melting pot when I was very little.

there was a great big pot onstage.

on the other side of the pot was a little girl who had dark hair,

and she and i were representing the italians.

and i thought: is that what an italian looked like?”

-al pacino

“i did a school play when I was 10 where I played a cold germ infecting a whole classroom of kids.

the play was called ‘Piffle It’s Only a Sniffle.’

i’d never had so much fun. It was a thrill.”

-kim cattrall

wilding.

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 back in time on a summer’s day

when your parents thought

you and your friends of all ages

were just pedaling around the block for hours

but in that time you really

explored abandoned houses and those still under construction

built your own underground fort

jumped in the mud to see if it was quicksand

left your socks behind

met a new kid

balanced on a a board going over the water to get to the other side

found a golf ball

explored the gravel pit

rolled down a hill backwards

shared snacks that fell in the dirt

had the best day ever

every single day.

“keep your children wild, don’t make them grow up too fast.”

– brooke hampton

a wish for my students on their last day.

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“there is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything.

negative people find their walls.

so never apologize for your enthusiasm.

never.ever.ever.

-ryan adams

 

may you all live like this forever. and ever. and ever.

love, your teacher

(who lives like this too)

invisible.

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i can identify with this little one

 when i was a child

i believed

 when i had

my sunglasses on

no one could see me

now, i’m left wondering…

“vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

-jonathan swift