Child mind

“Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.”

~William Wordsworth, “To a Butterfly”



When I was a child we went to Kennebunkport, Maine for vacation some summers, and stayed in a cottage owned by the Kinney’s. I remember the bedroom I shared with my siblings as it seemed rather Goldilock-like with 3 beds. I expect they weren’t of large. medium and small sizes, though I recall them that way. The Kinney family had children about the same ages as the three of us, whose names have escaped the net of my mind. I have a photo in my childhood album of my 4th birthday with them at it outside the cottage. In my child mind it never occurred to me that they had any lives beyond when we were they. As if they were in stasis from when we left until we arrived the following year. No school, no holidays, no daily life at all.

It is funny how your mind works when you are little, how you think the world is only animated when you are present. And how you recall things, I would have been certain that every final day of school warm sunny and hot. Every Halloween but one, was warm and windy. A fact I prefer not to disprove by checking old weather logs. Every summer was long, and full of swimming, fort building, fireflies and no schoolwork. The daylight stayed until 9:00 every night until the first night of school, when it got dark just after dinner. All of these are seemingly true memories that I am aware are inaccurate, but cherish just the same.  It seems to me that in the flip book of our lives, more falls to the cutting room floor than we can possibly remember. Some things remain, some disappear, and some never actually existed at all in spite of our certain belief that they did.


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