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Answer WeekFortnight: Day 3

8 May 2008

Mizmell asked, What is your fondest childhood memory?

I was stumped at having to pick just one, so I let the question percolate, and decided that I would answer whatever came first to mind when I sat down to write this. And here’s what I’m remembering this afternoon:

Split Sister and I are two years apart, and we spent hours upon hours playing together as kids, as you would expect. Our play was always imaginative (I don’t remember us playing board games very often), and some of my favorites were games that would fill entire days, if not a series of days and nights.

One was “Desert Island”. Our Barbies would have crashed onto an island when their plane lost power, and they would quickly have to begin the task of surviving. They’d weave leaves into clothes, use twigs and nut shells as tools and bowls, and they’d have lots and lots of baby powder food (mix baby powder and water into a thick paste; use as is, or let it dry in little Barbie bowls). They’d explore the island and have lots of adventures, moving from the front yard to the back yard, living under the azaleas by the house, or in front of the garage, or by the old brick barbeque in the back. I can’t remember the stories too well, but I know we’d be engrossed with this adventure.

Another was lego weekends. We’d build homes for our figurines (were they Little People? I can’t remember), and use the square tiles as plates, the narrow half-square tiles as forks and knives, and those little clear or white onesie cubes as glasses. They’d have beds, furniture, styled kitchens, all made with the generic blocks and tiles (over the years as an adult, I’ve been disappointed that the only way to get Legos nowadays is as a set to make one particular thing — Rudolf Steiner would be terribly dismayed). I have no idea what storylines we played during these lego weekends, but I have vivid memories of waking up bright and early on a Saturday or Sunday and being excited to go down to the playroom (before breakfast, even!) in the unfinished basement, to get back to the game.

We also ruined I don’t know how many bags of sandbox sand doing “cooking shows” (complete with thick Childean accent), mixing the sand with the wild onions that grew all over the yard.

We had plenty of toys, but the games I remember most vividly are these games of imaginative play. I loved them, and still remember them, thirty years later!

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