Share a childhood memory that makes you smile.

Why? Because I feel like it. Also suggested by the Baskin-Robbin’s thread.

My mother was a seamstress. When I was a child she was always sewing: sometimes making clothes for the family, sometimes for money. Frequently she would take some of us with us to Hancock’s Fabric’s Store on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis. By “some of us” I mean me and my two younger sisters. We’d ride the bus from our house to the store, and I’d have the job of taking care of the baby on the bus and carrying her in the store. Sometimes I’d let her sit in my lap, which I ritually complained about but in fact enjoyed, because I loved my baby sister more than air; and in the store I’d sometimes let her ride on my back while we went about. Once we were done, if time allowed before we had to catch the bus home, we’d go to Baskin-Robbins, but only every once in a while, for ice cream.

I miss my Mom.

My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Mitchell, was a very special lady. Everybody loved her. Every now and then, a student would bring her flowers, which she always loved. One day I decided I was going to do the same. I just didn’t know where to get any flowers. Since I walked to school, I looked all over the place for some while I was on my way.

Bingo, I found an entire field of them. A whole field of awesome yellow flowers. I stopped and picked a whole bunch of them. They didn’t look quite as nice as what other students brought, but they still looked pretty good.

When I arrived at school, Mrs. Mitchell was sitting out front. Apparently my floral adventure had taken more time than I’d thought, and I was really late. Mrs. Mitchell was really upset and asked where I’d been. “But… but… I brought you these”, I said as I handed her a tiny fistful of dandilions.

When I was a kid in SoCal, there used to be this marvelous phenomenon called Helm’s Bakery Trucks. They were yellowish panel trucks with slide out trays mounted in the back that were full of donuts! They would come around on some regular basis like ice cream trucks and delivery baked goods directly to your neighborhood. The smell was intoxicating. Man, I miss those.

Bestest trip ever–the summer after my 8th grade year, both of my parents happened to not be teaching. This was unusual, because one or the other of them typically taught during the summer semester, and often both. So we packed up a 1969 model VW camper and headed west. No agenda, no schedule, we just had an atlas and a campground directory. Spent most of the summer hitting national parks and monuments…Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Yellowstone…Custer Battlefield, etc. Camping, backpacking, fishing…an incredible experience, and one I’d never trade for anything imaginable.

My dad came home from work one Spring day and said he was going to show me how to make and fly a kite. I knew nothing about kites and was fascinated how he cobbled one together from lathe and newspaper. We made a tail for it by tying rags to the bottom of it. He anchored it to some packaging string and wound it around a stick and off we went to an open windy spot in town.

He ran with it and up in the air it went. And then he grinned. And he stood looking up at it jiggling on the wind. And he flew it. And he grinned. And he flew it.

I’d reach out for him to hand it to me but he was having so much fun being a kid that he scarcely noticed me.

Finally I got my turn and didn’t have much success launching it. But it was so neat to watch that childlike, playful side of that hard-working, responsible man. And just talking about it makes me smile.

I miss my dad. :wink:

In my culture oiling the hair is a common thing. There are these special hair oils that gorgeous Indian women put in their hair, every couple of days, for like half an hour, and then wash it out. Supposedly it makes the hair softer and thick and rich.

Now the thing was, my mom didn’t do it. And I loved the idea. One year my mom got me a stuffed bunny for Easter. And I decided, this bunny needed its fur oiled.

But she didn’t have any hair oil, as I said. I searched and searched, and the only thing I came up with was a small tube of sewing machine oil.

So, I used the entire bottle of sewing machine oil, and thoroughly greased up my poor bunny. My mom came home, and I didn’t try to hide it, or anything - I showed it to her proudly.

She might have gotten mad over me using her hair oil. Instead, I can remember the look of complete bafflement on her face. “You…used sewing machine oil to oil up your bunny?”

We had to throw that poor bunny out; it was disgusting. But I always smile to think of my mom’s face, so confused.

That’s great! I love it.

You guys are bringing up so many memories for me, no way I can tell them all. But 'mika reminds me of a good one.

I must have been show and tell in either kindergarten or 1st grade. I brought in a vinyl record, the Nutcracker Suite. I was explaining to a classmate how records worked, about how the needle goes around in a spiral. And anything could be used as a needle, as long as it was sharp and made of metal. Like these here scissors…

My classmate tried to stop me, but it was too late. Dismayed that my action didn’t produce the sweet strains of a particular Sugar Plum Faerie, I figured that maybe I was playing the wrong side. No problem, I just flipped the record over and let 'er rip.

**Skald **I remember going to the fabric store with my mom too. She wasn’t a seamstress she just sewed a lot. They had a little cloth playhouse (you know, cloth suspended on a plastic frame) that I loved to play in. You just reminded me of that :slight_smile:

I remember when we were kids my dad worked a ton, inbetween being laid off. One weekend he was off work and he said we could do anything together that I wanted to do, since my brother had gotten to do something with him the last time he was off work.

I told him I wanted to see what was at the end of “the big road” (a state road that was at the end of our neighborhood) so we spent the day driving all the way down that road, east to Pennsylvania, where it ended in no spectacular fashion. On the way home we had a burger in a diner. It was a very nice day.

My dad also worked a lot when we were children, always at night; and if he had the night off he tended to go to church. This led the littlest Rhymer, who like many little girls thought her father was invincible, to ask me once, in a very serious voice, if I was SURE that Daddy wasn’t Batman.

I remember going to the county fair with my dad when I was about four. That was back when they still had the mouse game where there a was a live mouse in a box and they let it out on a board with numbered holes in it and if the mouse ran into your hole, you won a prize. My dad won me a stuffed lion that I named Fluffy. I loved that lion. Our dog ate it when I was 12. I was devastated.

Me and my brother used to play hat football with our dog Barney. The rules were simple (you have to have a pretty simple rulebook if your league is open to dogs). My brother and I would get on our hands and knees and then we’d throw a hat to Barney. If we could wrestle him to the ground or take the hat away, we’d win. If he could run around us and get under the coffee table with the hat, he scored.

eta: I just remembered we called this game Buffalo. This was not a reference to the Bills. It was a reference to a comment made by our mother duing an early game that we were making so much noise it sounded like a herd of buffalos were playing in the living room.

Oh, that reminds me, I used to play football with my dog Jasper, too. He had a little plastic football that squeaked, and he loved it so much. We used to play tackle football around the two bushes in the backyard, and he looooooooooooved being tackled. He was such a good dog, even if he was dumb as a rock!

There’s a lot of love for dads in this thread.

Every now and then I’d get really curious about how something technical worked, like electricity or centrifugal force. I’d ask him about it, and he’d sit me down at the kitchen table with a pencil and piece of paper and draw diagrams about how things worked. I don’t know if he realized it at the time, but those were some of the best bonding moments of my life.

I remember once when my brother and I were young our parents herded us upstairs to the second floor bathroom to get ready for bed. I ran ahead ahead to where the hallway turned a corner and hid until I could hear my parents coming close; then I jumped out, held up my palm and said, “Stop! In the name of the law!” as I’d seen some cartoon character do on TV. My mom and dad both broke out into a rendition of “Stop in the Name of Love” and started dancing with each other.

A couple of times, my brother and I really wanted to have a picnic, but it was too cold or rainy outside. So we packed a picnic, with a basket and a blanket and all our food, and took it upstairs to my brother’s room and had a picnic on the floor.

I was 10, riding in a car driven by one of my sisters; it was dark so the two of us were probably returning home from a movie. WLS started playing “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand/walkin’ through the streets of Soho in the rain./He was lookin for the place called Lee Ho Fooks/gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein” and we started howling along with the chorus.

A woodpecker crashed into our front window and passed out while fighting with another bird during the mating season. My mother couldn’t handle it and told me and my sister to deal with the presumably deceased bird. I put it in a box and waited a bit, even as I staked out a place to bury it.

I approached the magnolia and thought about getting a shovel when the woodpecker’s eye cranked open. It saw me looming over it.

In a second it was gone. Over the roof and far away.

I went back to my mother and she asked me what happened to the bird. I told her “I think it’s going to be okay.”

Here’s my fondest Daddy memory. He’s still alive and I see him every week, but all this dad-talk brings it to mind.

My father is an immigrant to the US, and doesn’t always speak or understand English very well. It doesn’t help that he’s also fairly deaf (due to a high fever and infection he suffered as a child) and really doesn’t communicate much better in his native language either (Chinese).

When I was a kid in the late 1970s/early 1980s, he usually got home pretty early from work (much earlier than I have ever gotten home from work myself as an adult), having an 8am-4pm shift and a roughly 20 minute drive home. I myself walked home from school around 3pm and was supposed to do my homework until dinnertime, around 6:30pm, when my Mom typically got home. Usually I didn’t see my Dad much until dinnertime. He would check to see that I was home, and then do his own thing (including cooking).

After doing my homework I read books or played with action figures. I wasn’t really supposed to watch TV until I finished my homework, but I usually watched TV from 3-4pm because Woody Woodpecker or Tom and Jerry and other cartoons were on then, but after 5pm it was mostly news.

That’s all just setup for my memory. Sorry for being long-winded.

One day when I was about 10 years old, he came straight to my room after getting home with a glint in his eye. “Come on son, let’s take a trip.”

“A trip? Where to?”
“Someplace fun.”
“But I haven’t finished my homework.”
“It can wait. I saw something on the way home that made me realize my son isn’t going to be a boy much longer. Come on, let’s go!”

He was so enthusiastic. I got in the car and he started driving towards the main commercial strip nearby. I caught the excitement and asked where we were going to, what kind of a place it was. At first he said he wanted it to be a surprise, but after I pestered him enough he said it was an amusement park, a new one that opened up right in our neighborhood! He drove down this road all the time, and had noticed wall boards going up for construction a few weeks ago, and now the boards were down, there were cartoon characters all over the place, and oh, it looked like fun!

The ride there was at best 10 minutes long but in my memory it is a frozen moment in time. We got to the place and it was…

…Our local lumber yard. They had expanded to cover most of the block they were on, and refurbished their main building in the process, painting their walls white with cartoon figures of the tools of carpentry: a wood saw, a paint bucket, a hammer, etc., drawn with little legs and hands and smiley faces and everything.

He was crushed when I told him it wasn’t an amusement park, and explained what a “Lumber Yard” was to him. He drove home looking so sad. As a father myself I know now he was thinking, my boy’s grown up, he’s telling me things I don’t know and correcting my mistakes, he’s grown up and I missed it.

But even back then, I just knew my Dad loved me. And I’d take that feeling over a lifetime pass to DisneyWorld.

I’m confused too. I was reading the Indian culture setup and then Bam…Easter! I didn’t see that coming :confused:

Having my mom clean my ears with a bobby pin. She would have me get a flashlight and bobby pin and I would lay with my head in her lap while she cleaned my ears.

When I was about 6 or 7 yrs old, my parents were going out for a night on the town. Mom was busily getting ready to go out, and fixing me an early dinner. Freshly shelled peas were the Veggie du Jour and she neglected them and the water boiled out of the pot and it scalded the peas. The peas and little burnt part where they had burned.

Well, she served them to me anyways (I liked peas) and I turned my nose up to the complaining that they tasted funny. She told me to eat them as they were “black eye peas.”

It took me a long time before I would even try to eat black eye peas. (which I now really like, but don’t care too much for green peas anymore).

Years later I told Mom the story, and she denies that she ever did this.