Thursday, March 3, 2011

Childhood Transformations

Early, early this morning (Chicago’s morning), my mom and I were talking on Yahoo Messenger and she happened to tell me that an old neighbor of ours had a picture taken on the red carpet with Scarlett Johansson at the Oscars. Since I don’t watch those award shows, I did a search and lo and behold, there he was arm-in-arm with her. The site also had a link to Jane Fonda’s blog and his picture was there too.

And you know what? It made me feel old. Looking at the picture of Joe Machota, or Jo Jo as we use to call him, which he hated, doesn’t even look like the Joe I remember. When he was young, he resembled Danny Pintauro from “Who’s the Boss?” but Joe was cuter. I remember squeezing his cheeks because he was so adorable…on his face, people! Who would have thought blond hair Jo Jo would now be a Hollywood agent? It got me thinking about childhood and children in general. When you look at children, they’re just children and the future isn’t visible—grown up jobs or fame for that matter. Now I look at Joe’s picture and think about the years that have passed since childhood.  There are a few people from high school I knew who are successful in Hollywood, but Joe was young and lived across the street from us. I was the same age as his sister, Jolie. In time, they moved and our lives went their separate ways. Now I’ll be watching my niece and nephews and little cousins closely to try and see what grown up job lives inside them.

But I miss childhood. We lived on a dead-end street, so the park was right next door and there was a huge field to play softball, baseball, etc. Back then, we actually played outside, getting dirty for hours. As we got older, my mom had us try out for a play in the summer, where I was usually in the chorus. It kept us occupied and out of trouble. I was horrible at acting and I hated it, but my mom put us in plays in grammar school and then made me do something in high school. She said I wasn’t going to just sit around and do nothing. So I joined the plays in high school until my *ahem* attitude got in the way. In my second year, the theater director pulled me out of class and told me that if they let me in the play, it will be a test on my attitude, and if I’m not, don’t bother trying out again. Oh yeah, good times.

Thinking back on childhood, even though at the time I didn’t know it, I actually had a great time. No worries. No toys to get in the way. No keep up with the Joneses. It was pure fun and adventure—kids running up and down the streets, or riding bikes, or playing in front yards.

What do you miss most about childhood?

P.S. And cereal. I really loved eating cereal...but not in the same room with my brother. He always sounded like a train. Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries was my favorite.


  1. Cool! Too bad you didn't know one that was a literary agent!
    I'm still a cereal freak. Every now & then - I down a box of Captain Crunch Peanut Butter just because :)

  2. LOL! Tell me about it. Where is that literary agent you knew from childhood when you need them?

    Hmm... I always figured you as a Lucky Charms kinda gal. :D

  3. Childhood was great. Simpler days of soft ball on the street in front of the house, until my Mom chased us all away. She was a tough lady and didn’t want her flowers damaged. We moved down the block as we didn’t really have a park too close to us.But days later we'd be out in front againhoping Mom wouldn't notice. In the very early teens, like thirteen or so, most of the guys including me had some sort of motor bike or motor scooter that we rode on the streets without plates or a license. We even took some ten mile or so trips to a favorite suburban pizza place now and then or to some forest preserves. Sometimes we had girls ride on the back of the seat hanging on to us. It was a great deal of fun. Now and then the cops would stop us and make us put the bikes in the garage or take them back home. They told us never bring them out again, but we did anyway and somehow they let us get away with it.

  4. Veejay! Sounds like fun. Back then there were no worries to pay bills, or make dinner, all you cared about was how you were going to occupy your time.