Idyllic. My childhood was idyllic having grown up in, surprise, New Jersey (not what generally comes to mind when you say “idyllic”) in a neighborhood brand new and frequently bathed in muddy streets from the rain as we moved in before the streets were paved and while the saplings were non-existent to slight.
Despite its newness, each arriving family bonded quickly. We all lived in our respective 1960s households and went about our daily lives. For us children that meant playing inexhaustible games of Kick the Can, Hide and Seek, bicycling, building forts in Racklin’s bean field and hunting shark’s teeth in our local creek. They were perfect times, or seemed to be, for our little family of four.
Years later after moving from my beloved childhood home to Massachusetts, a move us kids agreed to but what did we know; in a matter of years my parents were divorced, something I think I sensed was coming and there was a strangeness to the new school and area we lived in. New Jersey held quiet rolling green neighborhoods that were perfect for tribes of kids to run and play and for safe trick-or-treating. Our new environment was a single, long street that cut a swath through countless trees and boulders; isolating compared to my beginnings.
Life got tougher with the move, its made me stronger, and I’m in the “New Englander”club now, which takes a long time to be accepted into but once accepted, you’re family- GO PATRIOTS! When I think of the innocence of growing up, it’s always New Jersey and the endless hours of play that went with it. When I think of that long and arduous road that begins after innocence, that’s those New England years – still important, maybe more important but certainly not remembered quite so fondly.
I hit the ground running in Massachusetts through parental divorce, bullying -my gosh, did I just say that – it just now occurred to me that all those threats to beat me up were bullying – and all the taunts of “Charlie” (nickname for Charlotte) sung to the perfume song theme whenever I walked down the high school hallways was bullying – wow, I’m slow – skipping school, drinking too much – rebelling – all those things that gave my Mother grey hair!
I’ve come out on the other side, with lots of counseling and reflection and with this blog to help me share the legacy that makes me who I am today.
Thanks dear reader for having any interest in how I came to be.
Spring Valley Drive, Holdmel, NJ circa 1963
Our neighborhood as seen from Dad’s plane
Me enjoying our backyard pool on a warm NJ day
Me in front of our Parrish Road house in Georgetown, MA circa 1972