A Peek Back at My Childhood

Something simple, but fun happened the other day.

Katie and I posted our weekly Car Chronicles video to Facebook and a handful of people from my past left thoughtful comments.

Two of my favorite comments included my best childhood friend, Laura, and her mother who I will refer to as, Mrs. M.

My memory of those idilic days, growing up in a small suburb outside Manhattan, is that Laura and I would spend hours of unstructured time playing, imagining, and creating. We played house in my basement, where there was an entire wooden kitchen set. We played school with our own classrooms (bedrooms), students (dolls), and even blue books where students could write their work (my dad was a teacher and supplied these mini notebooks to us free). And, sometimes we played “office”, unplugging phones from around the house and pretending we were answering very important phone calls from very important people.

We imagined we had long hair by hanging scarves from our heads; that we were Olympic gymnasts, the summer Nadia Comaneci received 6 perfect 10s; and actresses in award winning plays we performed on the front steps of my house.

We created big painted sets at a long empty table in my basement; secret clubs that met in a tree at the end of our street; and lemonade stands where payment came in the form of pretty buttons instead of cash.

I remember my childhood as being filled with wide open space, lots of free time, and a full inventory of paper, crayons, and glue, to be creative.

Mrs. M’s comment on last week’s Facebook post was “Love your video of spreading “shine”, you were so creative and clever as a child too.”

And then Laura added: “Loved those t-shirts and the play school days!!! I also remember we tried to make a telephone with paper cups and string that went from your house to mine!! Always creating back then Claudia!

Their comments affirmed a longstanding belief I have and teach about who we are as people and about the shine living inside each one of us. In the words of Marcus Buckingham, author and leader of the Strengths movement, “We don’t change as we get older, we become more so”.

I think it’s true. Who I am today is similar to who I was as a kid and nuggets of insight from people in my past help to reinforce that belief. I was creating, imagining, and teaching when I was 9 and I’m still creating, imagining, and teaching now. The only difference is size and scale. When I was a kid it was dolls and crayons in my bedroom and now it’s real people in workshops around the country.

How about you? Stop and think about how you spent your time as a kid. What might your best friend or neighbor say  if they were describing what they remember about you? How does it connect with who you are and how you spend your time today?


Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 5/11/18 6:49 am by Claudia Beeny in: Personal Development

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