Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pepperidge Farm Cookies And Lightning Bugs

I remember my childhood like it was yesterday.

I wore Reebok high tops and stonewashed jeans. My face was full of metal for almost exactly four years and I was cursed with thick, kinky hair that closely resembled the stuff that grows on a Chia Pet.

My sister Bridge and I would play in the area of our basement we lovingly called Barbie Village, which was strewn with plastic, anatomically incorrect dolls, irridescent dresses and little, glittery shoes barely bigger than pencil erasers.

We'd run around the back yard with the neighborhood kids in the summertime, toting glass jars full of pulsating lightning bugs. We'd chomp on cookies my mom bought at the Pepperidge Farm outlet on Montgomery Road and sip on juice boxes.

I kept my homework organized in a Trapper Keeper full of bright, sparkly Lisa Frank folders and I loved those pens that had four colors of ink.

Dinner was usually a proper, square meal with a meat, two veggies and a starch - especially when Dad was home. When he was out of town on business, mom dished up macaroni, fish sticks and frozen pizza.

Life was pretty good back in the day.

And even when it wasn't - it wasn't that bad.

Sure, there were times I'd get in trouble. Occasions when I'd get that Wait 'til your father gets home speech and run up to my bedroom and wiggle under the covers. I'd hide out under my blankets with a flashlight and a Nancy Drew book, hoping the dust would settle and I wouldn't be in as much trouble as Mom said I was.

Somehow I'd always come out alright after that quiet time in my room.

I'd waste time listening to Tiffany and Richard Marx sing about heartbreak on Q102 and doodling with my Etch A Sketch. Then Dad would come up to my room and we'd talk about whatever trouble I was in - usually either sassing my mom or refusing to do some chore. After a few serious words, maybe a few tears and a quivering lip - we'd hug and go back down stairs for a bowl of ice cream.

Now that I'm a grown-up, I think back to those days, and how hiding under my covers and a hug from Dad seemed to make it all better.

I wish it was that easy...

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