I don’t remember much of my first house in Anaheim.
I spent most of my childhood in my house in Fountain Valley, but the feeling of longing still stays with me. I can vaguely remember the large ceiling of the living room where the most memories take place. I remember a small me sized hammock that 5 year old me slept in while waiting for big brother to come home. I remember the huge park I used to run through with my ladybug kite that is now broken. I remember the murky, green water of our tiny pond that you could see koi in if you looked hard enough.
Those are the few memories I have.
I do vividly remember the day we moved out. The rush of my parents around me as I sat patiently in the van, holding my security blanket tightly to my chest and staring at the bags of koi sitting at my feet. My dad handing off the keys to the new house owner.
We had already toured our house in Fountain Valley, but I don’t think it fully registered in my young brain that the large house with the cool furniture would be our new home.
To this day I remember my dad’s answer to why we were moving.
“Dada, why can’t we live in our old house?”
“There are rats under my bed and if we don’t move they’re going to eat all your food.” He replied.
Every time I remind him of this, he avidly denies it, but my memories have never failed me.
Most kids would have been pretty sad moving to a whole new area. Different people, different houses, different stores, different parks. I don’t remember being sad about it, or even thinking about the move after we started living in the new house.
I didn’t even have friends to leave behind. I was best friends with a girl named Sophia in preschool, but we were so young the friendship was mostly only because we sat next to each other during carpet time. All I remember is her long curly hair and the pink dress she always wore.
A two short years later, I finally entered kindergarten at the age of 4, I would turn 5 in the first month of school. The thought of going to school excited me, I could see big brother and my cousins everyday. My teacher was Mrs. Monsoor and she was a very kind lady. Soon the first recess started and I was all alone. We were sent out to the little playground to play and I immediately ran into two girls. While on the floor holding my head in pain, they asked me a question that would change everything.
“Hey, wanna be friends?” one girl asked while the other held an arm out to help me up.
A huge smile spread across my tiny face and I immediately said yes.
That’s how I met my two best friends that would be with me for the next two years.
I still remember when I learned to ride a bike. My parents had almost given up, I was almost 8 and I still couldn’t ride without my training wheels. One day my dad had enough and just removed them, pushing me towards the park and telling me to ride. Trial and error style.
I cried the entire time while my dad just watched. It was kind of brutal but after a few days I could finally drive in a straight line.
I still remember the night I learned how to turn. My dad made me do huge circles in front of my house under a streetlight. With the streetlight beaming down on me, I kept pedaling and finally learned how to ride my bike.
Although how I learned to ride my bike was pretty brutal and scary, I do have to thank my dad for not just giving up. I think now I’m a pretty good bike rider and frequently enjoy riding my bike with my cousin on the back.
I was the youngest in my family that lived in Southern California. My four little cousins lived up north, so down here I was the only baby. The only negative, the only people I had grown up with were boys. One older brother and 3 older boy cousins.
At home I could deal with my brother. The occasional trick, the spontaneous prank, the nightly jump scares before bed. After a few years I had a few tricks up my little sleeve. Open the flood gates and he would regret everything and mom and dad would come running.
Every friday we went to our cousins house after school to play with our cousins. Most of those days were playing Super Marios Bros on their red Wii or playing Nerf, hiding from the headshots.
I had to learn how to survive in the rough environment. Learn how to play rough, learn how to joke and most importantly be more like a boy. No matter how much it upset my aunt, feeling like a boy was way more fun than wearing my pink shoes and looking pretty.
As my childhood imagination grew, my dreams grew wilder. I thought I was special. I had the ability to control my dreams. Whatever I wanted to dream of I could choose, and in those dreams I could do anything. I could eat anything, talk to anyone, hang out with my friends. Whatever I wanted or desired, I could do it. But only in my dreams.
With the dreams came nightmares. The nightmares were very rare, but they were always vivid when they did come. I still remember all of them. They all were childish and made no sense, but to me they were terrifying. From the death of parents or being kidnapped in my sleep, these nightmares always had a childish twist like a cartoon character being the murderer.
My dreams and my nightmares both are important to me. Sleep has always been a big part of my life, as odd as that sounds. My dreams hold a special place in my heart, my little escape from reality where I could live a false life. My nightmares kept me grounded in reality. A perfect balance.
One thought on “Stories of My Childhood”
I found it funny how your dad lied about there being rats under your bed because my parents also make up silly lies to avoid answering my questions.