For anyone who knows me, it will come as no surprise that my childhood mainly involved annoying my two old sisters to no end, screaming ‘caaaaaaaaaaar’ as my friends and I played handball in the street and dreaming about one day becoming the sixth Spice Girl (because #GirlPower).
But despite my tendency to be the irritating youngest sibling of the family and the one to sing ‘Wannabe’ in the mirror with a hairbrush after school, my favourite memory of my childhood is a much simpler one. Whenever I stop and think about it, it always brings a big smile to my face.
Who wouldn't want to dance to this? Image: Giphy.com
Every afternoon coming home after school, I’d count down the minutes until I heard the distinct ‘ding dong’ of the front door ringing. I would feel the little leap of excitement in my chest and pick myself up from whatever it was I was doing to bolt to its sound.
There waiting for me on the other side of the heavy wooden door would always be Mum at 4pm, on the dot, without fail. I would open the door, say hello and give her a great big bear hug as though I hadn’t seen her in a million years.
She’d usually have some form of a surprise for me that she would pull out from her black handbag, whether it be a toy, lolly or something Posh Spice related (Victoria Beckham was always my favourite). Yet as much as I loved a good surprise as does any other eager kid, that wasn’t what I looked forward to the most.
What I looked forward to was telling my mum all about my day. We’d go and sit together in the kitchen as she would make dinner and I would pull up a chair to bench and proceed to tell her about all the things I had done as school.
I would tell her how the chicken nuggets and tomato sauce I had for lunch were delicious. I would tell her about netball practice and how we were set to win the season. I would tell her about the work we’d been doing on sea animals and all of the fascinating facts I could recall about whales.
When I asked the rest of the Mamamia team what their favourite childhood memory was, all of their responses had one common thread. They all revolved around friends and family.
You can read them here:
- "My siblings and I played the Olympics! That was so fun. We would do a circuit with athletics, soccer, tennis, hockey in the front yard with dad’s golf clubs." - Jessie
Two sets of twins meant lots of athletes for the Toddler Olympics. Image: supplied.
- "My 4th birthday party in my cubby house. I was standing in a pink frilly dress with a pink wig on. I had just devoured a lolly bag and I was surrounded by my friends. I remember thinking: ‘This is the happiest anyone could possibly be. I could not possibly be happier than I am right now.’" - Michelle
- "When a new book club catalogue was delivered to school! I'd spend a whole week compiling and resubmitting my wish list to my mum before she eventually placed the order." - Katy
Katy looking cute as anything in her overalls. We're so glad those are back in style. Image: supplied.
- "It was the weekend of my 7th birthday. I’d invited friends around for cake, lollies, party games – you know, the usual stuff. With a few hours until party time, Mum took me out to buy last-minute supplies. When we returned, Dad was waiting at the front door. He told me to close my eyes, took my hand and lead me out into the backyard. “Open.” There was a jumping castle! A HUGE jumping castle. I don’t think I’ve felt such an overwhelming rush of happiness since." - Belinda
- "We used to put on a Best of Disney CD and dance around a square rug." - Ally
- "Turning my room into a veterinary clinic, doctor’s surgery, hairdresser’s salon, Post Office, movie theatre or whatever else I could think of. I would make my family come in so I could serve or perform to them." - Briony
Briony was all smiles and imagination. Image: supplied.
- "The elaborate lengths my parents went to in order to convince me fairies were real. My mum would take me into the garden, crouch down and pretend she could see them jumping between the flowerbeds. My dad would leave notes with all the words spelled backwards around the house from ‘the big fairy’. I would hold them up against a mirror and sound out each word to read them. I couldn’t be more thankful for the magic they offered nor could I want my future children to have anything less." - Meri
It might be small and simple but the memory of my afternoons with my mum have always stuck with me. And while I never got the opportunity to become a fully-fledged Spice Girl, that memory has done something even better.
It’s always made me smile.
What's your fondest play memory from childhood?