Childhood Is Like a Strawberry Smoothie: Some Childhood Memories Evolve, But Last Forever by Peyton T.
Childhood is sweet like a strawberry smoothie, but smoothies do not last forever. Eventually, they are tainted by the heat or time that causes the berries and milk to turn rotten. However, it would be pessimistic to interpret this as a bad thing given how beautiful the image of childhood innocence can be from a grown perspective. After all, I find that strawberry smoothies taste best as a memory in my mind while snow reminds me that it is no longer summer.
It is vital to cherish memories the way we manage to savor a sweet summer treat. Because of this, I have several beautiful memories from my childhood, though some have become more tainted than others. My favorite childhood memory is a recurring one of staying up late to hug my mom when she returned from her late-night restaurant shifts.
So many childhood memories are easily forgotten, but I will never forget how euphoric I was to hear the turn of keys in the door as my mom returned home around 11 at night after working several hours in a busy restaurant. When this occurred, I was around 10 years old, and I lived in an apartment with my sister and mom. Given that we lived in an apartment, I could always hear my mom come in and was always ready to rush to my mom’s arms. As she enveloped me in a hug, I could smell spring rolls and hot chicken wings as remnants from her workday.
Even now I would give anything to cherish the smell that is conjoined with my childhood, and just as far gone since the restaurant she worked at has since closed. It may seem odd that this memory is my favorite, but there is no doubt in my mind that there is nothing more wholesome and childlike than that. That is a child who knows her mother is working so hard for her. That is a mother who would do anything for her kids. That is a child who cannot sleep without giving her mom a hug that says thank you, and that is a mom who wants her child to sleep but knows how much that hug means.
Additionally, this memory has significance because it is uniquely transient compared to my many other childhood memories. Most of my second choices are something I could get up and do today, like bake cookies or go to Destiny USA, but this hug will never be the same in a physical or spiritual sense. Physically, I am no longer 10 and have grown many inches since our last hugs, so I would now be the taller one of the hugs.
That point is moot compared to the spiritual change in our hugs. Today our hugs no longer act as thanks but rather as loving ways of saying be safe, I’ll miss you or please don’t go. As a 16-year-old, I am dealing with a lot more stressors than I was at the age of 10. Because of this, my mom and I have a mutual understanding that we both need more help getting through life and want each other to know how genuinely we need the other to survive one more day. To share these thoughts, we hug each other goodnight most of the time, and while I can still smell the daisy perfume that she’s used forever, I can no longer feel the same hugs that reflected childhood innocence and naivety when I was 10.
Hugging my mom when she got home from work is my favorite childhood memory for a multitude of reasons, and just thinking of all those reasons causes many emotions to build in me. A bit of sadness, stemming from nostalgia, pokes at my heart, but I try to remember how much those moments brought my childhood self much-needed happiness. It would best suit the moment to claim that reminiscing on childhood memories is bittersweet, but many things are called that as one gets older, so I would prefer to remember the hug the way I remember a strawberry smoothie, sweet and momentarily perfect.
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