Tomorrow, at 12:31 PM EST, I will turn thirty years old. This I am not afraid of; I am not reeling with fear or doubts or any of that cliche birthday sort of thinking. Actually, I kind of like the sound of thirty. It’s much… rounder than twenty-nine. I don’t “feel” old or older; I am interested to see what I can accomplish in this next decade. I did a lot in my twenties and made huge strides in my life and as a person in general. I grew, I learned, I did. But I am also very tied to my childhood, as I think all people are. I think a huge reason adults have children is so they can feel that again, though it is not entirely the same.
I spent the majority of my formative years in Hollywood, Florida. We lived at 44th ave and Monroe street until I was nearly fifteen. In that time, I attended four different schools, made a lot of good friends, and created some of my most vivid and influential memories. In categories, here are some of the aspects of my youth:
Books – We used to go to the library and my mother let me pick out a huge stack of books. I loved it; can probably attribute it to my love of them today and my writing degree.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
- George Shrinks by William Joyce.
- In The Night Kitchen also by Maurice Sendak.
- The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner.
- My mother’s carbonara, which she always let me help with. I got to stir the eggs and Parmesan cheese together.
- Tuna casserole – peas and all.
- Salmon patties
- Ham steaks that my dad made on nights my mother worked. We, unfortunately, also had lima beans with them. ICK.
- Sausages with red peppers. Another dad meal that I hated. They were weird red polish sausages; I only ever liked eating Bratwurst (with mustard).
- Jordan Marsh My mother worked here for about thirteen years. She stayed home with me the first four years of my life and then worked retail at night.
- Toys R Us. On nights when my dad took me to see my mom, we also stopped by the toy store.
- Circus Playhouse was this awesome place my dad took me all the time. They had rides and a ball pit and skee ball. I never cared for the animatronic show THAT much and we never ate the pizza because we went after dinner but the my memories of playing Galaga are very warm and fuzzy.
- The Beach. We went a lot as a family on weekends but I loved when it was my Dad and me and he’d stop by a little trailer on the way home and got us Hawaiian tropical icees. They even had bits of pineapple. I can still see myself slurping it down in the back seat of the Toyota, wrapped up in my beach towel, trying not to get sand on the floor mats.
- The Hollywood Mall. This site shows an older pictures, which is how I remember it. This is the same mall from which Adam Walsh was abducted but I still went here a lot. In fact, when I was about thirteen, my friend, Tracy and I went to comic shows here all the time. Well, once a month probably.
I must say, I had a pretty good childhood. There was the normal stuff like issues with parents and I didn’t really ever like my sister very much; she was almost six entire years younger than me so I treated her more like a pet. But on the whole, I couldn’t ask for much more. All I ask, now that I enter my parenting years, is that Elliot can also look back some day and feel like we did a good job giving him a fun childhood.
And now, onto thirty.