At a recent summer BBQ, I chatted with a dear cousin of mine and we reminisced about certain childhood memories. As Charlie recalled some of his experiences, it rekindled in me some long forgotten outings, ones I hadn’t thought of in years. What was special about our conversation was our family bond. Back then, the two of us were at the very same place at the very same time as very young children. We had a common culture, and were blessed to have spent countless hours enjoying the innocence of just being a kid. We used dirty sticks to roast our marshmallows atop a real charcoal grill, built snow forts as we braved the bitter winter cold, and piled into my uncle’s station wagon (you know the kind with the paneled sides and no seat belts) to visit the local ice-cream parlor. Charlie reminded me of the summer vacations we spent at a family dude ranch where we rode horses and waited in anticipation for that big bell to sound telling us lunch was ready.
I can share my childhood stories with anyone who will listen but there’s something about sharing it with a family member who was creating those memories right alongside you. After all these years, Charlie and I still smile as we recollect the fibers of our past where so many positive impressions were made. I know he treasures those times as much as I do.
As adults, my sentimental cousin and I share something else that not everyone possesses. We can still look at life through the lens of a child and capture those feelings of innocent joy, raw pain, and all of those “firsts” you encounter as a youngster. At times, it gets buried as our “grown-up” vision gets in the way but it’s there and comes in handy especially when we need to see life more clearly.
Are you able to see things through the lens of a child?