I remember a lot of things from my childhood by heart. Songs, books, moments, toys… But, to be frank, translating them takes the loveliness out so let’s use something I can convert to an international version.
When I was around four or five my best friend lived in the apartment building next to us. We’d come and go from one apartment to the next, coming in unannounced, sitting at the dinner table at whichever end we chose. Our parents didn’t actually mind, they’d been friends for a while and it took some of the load off the other two while we rummaged around the yard or ran around one of the apartments. I still remember the smell of the hallways (which, might I add, wasn’t always that pleasant since some neighbors sold homemade vodka), and remember counting the steps when I walked up to my friend’s door.
We loved to play in closets. Our younger siblings weren’t allowed in closets so we felt superior to be able to play in a dark room with a closed (we pretended it was locked) door. And what on earth did we do in a closet that was so intriguing? Our barbies and various other toys (usually ponies) would jump off shelves to deep unknown voids or waters, depending on whether they were astronauts or mermaids or if I was easily persuaded to play with the only male barbie. Our absolute favorite thing, for whatever odd reason, was to have one of the barbies pregnant.
Naturally (or, rather, unnaturally), since we did not have baby barbies but the whatever-their-name-was kiddie versions instead, we stuffed them (naked) underneath the Barbie’s skirt and then sealed it at the ankles with a rubber band. We thought this was the most logical way of doing it, and that after about twenty minutes the baby would be born (as something resembling a five-year-old with a very big head) and… we would get bored and do it all over again, or maybe toss both the “baby” and the barbie off a shelf.
My mother banned playing in closets soon, though, since my sister was getting too upset — she’d climbed into a full bath with all her clothes and her diaper on while the others were in the kitchen. We’d looked for her for hours until we found her, soaked through and twice as heavy as usual since the diaper had sucked up a lot of water from the bath.
It’s funny how I remember the color of the walls in the closer, or the amount of shelves on the right side (though it might be wrong since my counting skills at age five weren’t that pro), or the place where my Mom kept her sewing machine.
I suppose we all have memories that stay with us better than the others. For me I think it was the repetition that made it stay in my memory. There was a time we spent an hour in the closet at least once or twice a week.