March 15, 2008

on the comforts of childhood...

Lunches for the last week-or-so have consisted mainly of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Is it weird that lately I've been craving them like no one's business? It's like there's nothing better than two slices of wheat bread filled with gobs of peanut butter and amazing strawberry jam. Today, during my lunch at work, I was genuinely gleeful while inhaling my sandwich. (I say inhaling because I was SO FREAKING HUNGRY. When I work the 10AM-6:30PM shift, I don't get my lunch until nearly 3PM, and at that point I'm ready to eat my fingernails down to the nubbins for sustenance. You think I'm kidding.)

I've realized that at this point in life, I seem to be grasping on tightly to anything that gives me that sense of childhood comfort. You know what I mean? Things that somehow bring you back to that safe, simple time where everything was so easy and happy and full of make-believe. It sounds ridiculous, but what if I am having a stressful, frustrating day at work and when I sit down at my break to enjoy my PB&J, it somehow comforts me and helps me mellow out? It's the simple things, right? Sometimes they are obvious, and sometimes they slip into your day-to-day a bit more unconsciously.

Here are some of my childhood comforts that find themselves tucked into my current life:

television shows. I will routinely find myself stuck on watching any show that I used to watch religiously every Friday night. TGIF, anyone? I lived for that stuff. Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Family Matters. Sometimes I even get stuck on the Disney channel, because who doesn't love some good ol' cartoons?

Disneyland. Yes, I worked there for a year, but the entire reason that I even wanted to be employed there was because of my history of family vacations that happened at that very place, every two years-or-so. My memories of summer vacations are filled with churros, posing for photos with the characters, waiting hours in line for Indiana Jones, spending our vacation savings on stuffed animals and Mickey-shaped candies and staying out until the park closed and our feet were so tired that we could feel our hearts beating in our sneakers. Even though going to the park is no longer a novelty, per se, I still get that magical feeling when I walk down Main Street, and the fireworks still make me cry. (Don't even get me started on the parades.)

sleeping comforts. I slept with a stuffed animal until a year before I was married. I'm just going to put that out there, and pretend that it doesn't embarrass me. When I was little, I'd sleep with one stuffed animal on either side of me, and one on my tummy. Because that way they all had an equal amount of "me". (Obsessive compulsive much?) Of course, as I got older, I just had one stuffed animal, but still. I couldn't sleep without curling my arms around something. At this point in time, as much as I would like to say that my husband is the one I curl my arms around while sleeping, it's actually a body pillow. (It can't be my husband because gah. The guy is a human space heater, and I'm always too warm when I sleep, anyway. It's not exactly conducive to my slumber.) Also, I always have to sleep with a fan on. Even in the winter. Just for the sound, really. Growing up, we'd always have the fan running on the thermostat at night, and I guess I just got used to it. Last Christmas my parents sent me what I like to call a whooshee-noise-maker-thingy, and it works just as well as a fan, creating a nice, steady stream of white-noise. Which is nice, because who wants a fan running in min-December, albeit in California?

theatre. Although I don't have any time to enjoy it at this time in my life, theatre was a huge part of my existence for four years. I remember that the real appeal of it to me was that it was basically playing make-believe (what I did best as a child!). And nobody judged me for it, even though I was a teenager! You can sing and dance and dress up in ridiculous costumes and pretend you're someone else and it's encouraged. My own, personal heaven.

food. Already, I've mentioned my choice sandwich, but there are other things that I crave and enjoy more than anything, simply because they bring me back to sitting around the dining table with my mom, dad and sisters. Cheese tortellini with broccoli and alfredo sauce, roast with homemade gravy, my mom's lasagna, ham and corn chowder (which, by the way, took hours and an army of sisters to prepare), sweet and sour meatballs with rice. Whenever I go to visit my family, one of the first things I want to say is, "Okay, ma. Let's get down to business. What's the menu looking like?" Her cooking is so yummy. And as for my dad's Christmas morning waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, or his amazing barbecued steaks? I drool.

movies. As you can expect, I love me some Disney classics. There aren't many things that makes me feel more at home than watching The Little Mermaid or Aladdin. There are also a bunch of cheesy movies that my sisters and I like to watch when we see each other, too. Think Good Burger, or Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere (you don't want to know the true extent of my Hanson fixation). I also used to watch old Abbot & Costello movies with my parents and sisters. I can quote several of them nearly all the way through. Don't underestimate the hilarity of old movies like that.

music. You'll know I'm in a homesick mood if you find me listening to my country mix on my iPod. There's nothing like a little 90's country to bring me back to my mom driving us to school in the mornings when I was in second and third grade. Pam Tillis, Wynonna, Garth Brooks, Vince Gil. Heck, yes. I swear I wasn't a hick, it's just what we listened to. I also remember ritualistically borrowing/stealing my older sister's Amy Grant tape, and my younger sister and I jumping our beds while we sang along to songs like, "Baby, Baby". Ah, yes. The good old days. And moving on to later in life, I was all about the boy bands and pop rock. As I mentioned before: Hanson fixation. For reals.

What are some of your childhood comforts? Please share!


  1. my mom and i were listening to "baby, baby" in the car TODAY.

    ah. childhood.

  2. Don't forget Full House. That was totally in TGIF too!

    I love Disney World. I would love to work there. It is just magical. Seriously.

  3. ohhh TGIF, how you owned my friday nights. i swear, i have been on a total pb&j kick lately too, with a banana and a glass of milk. :o)

    for me, it's all about the babysitters club and campbells chicken noodle soup bringing me back to my childhood... anddddd hanson. (who i'm going to see in may. my 13 year old self is FREAKING OUT.)


    ps. love, love, loveeee your header. jealous.

  4. The Beau and I just finished eating apples and peanut butter - a childhood favorite. However, we threw a very college twist on it: We didnt cut the apples, just put the knife in the jar and applied it directly to the apple where we planned on taking a bite. On of us mentioned how "dining hall" this was of us to do, we had a moment of nostalgia. College is over in less than two months.

    ...thank god.

  5. T.G.I.F. (check + old school Nick at Nite)
    Stuffed Animal (check)
    PB&J (check)
    theatre/play pretend (check)
    Disney (check)

    you're not alone! :P

    engaging blog, as always.

  6. My whole week used to revolve around TGIF. I swear I've seen like every episode of Boy Meets World.

    And I'm going to totally pretend that I've never been to Hanson concert in my life, but that is lie. Yeah. They were definitely cool when I was nine.

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  8. heck, when my hubby's out of town I still sleep with my childhood stuffed animal ("Squeezie bear") - and when my hubby's home - squeezie sleeps on my bedside table so he doesn't get lonely :)

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  10. Oh my goodness. Amy Grant. I had an obsession with that album.

  11. you know that white light is actually composed of light from every color of the spectrum. White Noise is a combination of all audible frequencies. The sounds are spread evenly across the frequency band so that no one single sound or frequency stands out. When the frequencies are mixed they cancel each other out and create a deadening effect.


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