Friday, July 22

A happy childhood is the worst possible preparation for life. [Kinky Friedman]

Sometimes I wonder if the above quote holds a kernel of truth.

I had an extremely happy childhood. Probably happier than anyone else I know, except, of course, my brothers. We all, parents and siblings, got along famously - one of my friends in high school called us the Brady Bunch. I can count on one hand the number of real arguments I remember in our household.

We had golden retrievers, a swing set, art classes, and swim meets. I cried when I turned five, and then again when I turned six, because I didn't want to grow up. Life was wonderful just as it was, and I didn't like change. I was very, very lucky to grow up this way.

And probably thanks in large part to the above, I have always been, for lack of a better term, an emotional marshmallow.

I hate confrontation. Red Cross and ASPCA commercials make me cry. I don't like scary movies or rude people. Can't everyone and everything just be nice and happy and soft and lovely?

At the risk of sounding like an adult stuck in some kind of psychological infancy - too late? - I have to confess that I love nearly all things that whisper my version of "vintage childhood." Bikes, community pools, books about magic and poetry and adventure. Root beer and banana popsicles. Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza and Bewitched (my childhood was more vintage than most). Dresses and parties. My grandma's house for any celebration, ever. Disney.

So I get pretty sad when I read things like this review of the new Winnie the Pooh movie. You aren't going to read the review, are you? Okay, okay ... I'll just summarize. The author paints a mighty tempting portrait of the film, using words like gentle, soft, simple, beautiful, sweet, docile, and - wait for it - throwback (be still, my heart).

He then proceeds to finish with this: "...parents, when not checking their cell phones, will be thankful for the thoughtfully brief running time." *record scratch* Excuse me?

In fairness, I haven't seen the movie - maybe it is super boring for anyone over the age of five - and I know I won't be seeing it either, because none of my fellow adults have retained enough of their inner child to be interested and I will not go see Winnie the Pooh by myself (see, I still have a smidge of self-respect and social awareness).

But seriously, if you have kids, why would you be checking your cell phone during a movie that is magical to them? What have we come to?! Can't you try to remember your own childhood and at least enjoy that innocence and loveliness vicariously?

This is another rambling post. My basic train of thought is this: Childhood is a magical time, and the way technology invades our modern lives is a sin. Oh, and everyone should donate to the Red Cross and the ASPCA. That isn't a train of thought, is it?

Oh dear, I've exhausted myself, and you know I can't bear discomfort. Time to grab an ice cream cone, maybe go snuggle with my own golden retriever.

Bailey in her own innocent childhood - personal photo

Have a lovely weekend!

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