Riding bikes to the park and climbing and swinging and sliding for (what seems like) hours on end.
Collecting fireflies on warm summer nights while waiting for the magical music of the ice cream truck.
Swimming in dirty lakes.
Eating ice cream from old mom and pop stands.
Blowing out birthday candles while family stand around smiling and looking at you.
Opening a few, small gifts.
Family meals on Sunday at the grandparents.
Playing with cousins every weekend.
Stopping for McDonald’s on the way home from the grandparents’ on Sunday nights.
But then Mama and Papa fight and separate, and Papa’s living elsewhere and Mama is different and never home, and Sissy and Brother are always out, too. So then the simple things change:
Someone is actually home when you go to bed.The electricity is on to allow some TV time.
Mama makes dinner: warm baked beans with corn bread.
A warm bath.
Weekends with only Papa and eating out, visiting Nonna, going go-carting and playing mini-golf, etc.
Then you move so much that you end up at four different high schools. The simple things change, yet again:
Meeting your nephew for the first time.Someone in class actually talks to you and looks you in the eye.
Movies, concerts with a friend.
That feeling you get when you look at him, when your eyes meet.
Hugs from people who care.
Drunken nights with your BFF/cousin.
Now you’re in your 20’s and have a college degree but it’s not a fancy one and it’s hard to find a job. Simple things become:
Hugs and kisses and jibber jabber from nieces and nephews.Helping a child to spell and read and ride a bike.
Renting out your own apartment.
Next up is your 30’s; you’ve got a man by your side now and life is finally being lived… for you. The simple things:
Quiet evenings together watching TV, playing video games.
Walking down the aisle with Papa by your side and Mama sitting proudly up front.
Watching everyone eat and dance and laugh and party on your wedding day.
Feeling your unborn baby kick.
Hearing her cry out for the first time.
Looking at her.
Seeing her smile.
Hearing her giggle.
Watching her discover.
Seeing her crawl.
Watching her stand on her own.
Cheering as she takes a step.
Catching her as she runs into your arms.
Her crazy hair.
Her big brown eyes.
Hearing her say, “Mama.”
Hearing her say, “Wuv you.”