You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl.
This month, we are sharing thoughts on the theme HEAT. Unlike the day Kimberly Sabatini posted, today is hot. The heat is on, as Glenn Frey would say.
And though my body is landlocked in central PA, my heart is already “down the shore”. My memories of spending time at my grandparents’ house while growing up are precious. Vivid.
I can still feel the burn on the balls of my feet as I scurried toward the ocean, the sand itself blistering, soaking up – and sharing – the scorch of the sun. My parents tried to convince me to wear flip-flops, but to me, that wasn’t an option. As a kid, I wanted to feel the grit. I wanted to feel the fire. I wanted to experience it all, in every “sense”:
The glint of the sunshine dancing on the distant swells, as airplanes competed with clouds to share messages in a sapphire sky.
The delicious scent of sunscreen mixing with briny air and picnic baskets filled with peanut butter sandwiches and sun-kissed plums.
The squish of the wet sand between my toes as I finally reached the ocean. That stop-your-heart frigid first wave crashing over me.
The screech of the sea gulls over the gentle shush of the waves. The song of the man trudging through the dunes, calling, “Iiiiiiice Cream! Fudgie-wudgies!”
The creamy sweetness of the day’s chosen indulgence pairing with the salt on my lips, and the gritty sand clinging to my fingers.
Oh! We can’t forget the unexpected treasures...
And sky-scraper high sandcastles, begging for dragons to move in.
It’s all there. As if it were yesterday.
So why are our childhood memories so sharp? Of course this is only my humble opinion, but I believe it’s because as children, it’s our nature to explore. To investigate fully. To throw ourselves without abandon into any and every situation.
No outside world static. No preconceived notions or biases. No excuses.
Focused. Unapologetic. Unrelenting.
It’s a child’s job. And no one does it better.
As a children’s author, it’s my job to stay in touch with my inner child.
Won’t you join me?