[This is an old essay that I wrote for some unknown reason back in the late 90s. I just found it last night and thought I'd share it here. There are two more, though I'm not yet sure if this will turn into a series.]
I remember the 70s, but only in a weird, dreamlike kind of way. I was just a kid then, a baby really. Born in '73...who was president then? Carter? Who knows? (I should...)
I remember root beer floats in little colored plastic glasses. I remember tube socks and Adidas tennis shoes. I remember going to Valleyfair with my family. I remember my family. My brother was nothing but a brat (I remember the sound of his pre-adolescent voice very well), but my sister was cool for the most part. I was always five years younger, she had to be cooler than me, those were the rules.
My mom was quiet. My mom's always been quiet. She made good casseroles, tucked me in for naps in the TV room with the shades drawn, and made bologna sandwiches for me. I liked my mom. She was always the one who went with me on the rides nobody else wanted to go on. Missy and Tommy on the big kid rides, Mom and Katie on the little kid rides, Dad eating corn and taking pictures.
I remember my dad. Always yelling, always laughing, always burping, always sneezing so loud you could hear it at the neighbor's house. I remember my dad's plants. He made the TV room look like a jungle for a good portion of my childhood. (We didn't have cats to pee in them yet.)
I remember blue plastic clogs and Barbie dolls. Rainbow shirts and rainbow shoelaces that Dad bought for us. Taking bus #14 to Susan Lindgren Elementary school. I remember my sister waiting for me after school in the foyer - she was a big 5th grader and liked the responsibility of making sure her Kindergarten sister got on the right bus. I remember feeling the same way about the neighbor kid, Chris. Although I was only in 2nd grade when he was in Kindergarten, I liked being the older one and making sure he got home okay.
I remember liking my childhood. I remember liking my room with the hot pink carpet. I was only 7 by the time the 70s were over, but I remember those years. My family always tries to tell me that I make up my memories. Whatever. Maybe they just weren't paying attention like I was.