some things never change...

so much about being a kid has changed since i was little. sometimes, while i'm anchoring and tethering my daughter into her five point harness, triple-quadruple-latch, nasa-inspired car seat, a childhood memory pops into my head. several moms in our neighborhood had organized a carpool to transport us to mrs. squire's preschool. all the moms drove those little station wagons - our version of today's honda minivan. the really fancy ones had "wood" side panels! i would wait for my ride at the end of my driveway. the chauffeur du jour would get out, walk around to the back, and pry open the heavy, creaky back hatch. i would climb into the pile of already picked-up kids. those wagons had a little vinyl-covered lounge area in the back. remember that? one bench seat facing backwards (makes me need some dramamine just thinking about it) and two on the sides. i don't think seatbelts were even an option. with each turn, we would slide on the slick seats, let out exaggerated screams and try to pin the poor kid at the end against the side of the interior. (incidentally, my mother never owned a station wagon. ruth drove a 280z - a hot little silver sports car. a couple of us would have to squeeze into the front when it was her turn. let's just say the parking break in between the seats was not a comfy spot. not a lot of room, but we were riding in style!)

    i also remember playing rock-paper-scissors with my brother to decide whose turn it was to get off the couch and change the channel. if there wasn't anything good on channel 2 or 6, "lavern and shirley" or "chips" might be on 8. i remember the sound of jiffy pop on the stove, and i vividly remember the time my babysitter pulled the lid off the jiffy pop pan before popping it! i laughed my head off at the popcorn flying all over the kitchen, landing silently on the mustard linoleum. i recall the first time i played pong on atari, the sound of the aluminum tab peeling off the top of a coke can, and the time my friend carrie showed me this cool machine called a microwave, in which you could instantly heat your cocoa and make the marshmallows all melty! i remember the feel of the dial on our avocado green kitchen phone - and just how far i could venture with it in my hand before the cord reeled me back in. i'm sure i'll spend some time in the trying to explain the days of my youth to my girls, but i know they'll never quite "get it", just as i could never fathom the world in which my mom and dad grew up.

    there is one thing, however, that's really stayed the same: the nightly bath time ritual. the basics never change. the sound of water pouring from the faucet onto the white porcelain, the scent of johnson & johnson, the bubble beards, the bathroom echo of splashes and squeals, the "please? five more minutes?" the pink pruned feet making puddles on the tile and the mummy wrapping in the soft terrycloth towel. it's one of my favorite times of the day, a time when my girls get my undivided attention. i guess that's why i'm such a sucker for bath time shots, and i'm certainly not alone. they are little reminders of a simpler time, and evidence that, thankfully, some things never do change.

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