My childhood has good moments too. I remember my dad used to take me to the city center where there were all kind of shops, and restaurants. He would buy me the Russian bread cider, which was cold and frothy… then we stopped at the ‘sunshine’ café, where he bought me a delicious ice cream. On my birthday he took me to a shop where they had all kinds of dolls, and asked me which one I wanted. I remember I picked a very tall to my chest doll, with pretty brown hair. On hot summer days we would all go to the nearest river to swim. One day I was in the garden where my father kept his bee hives. He was working on one bee family and I guess something happened and I was in the path of an angry bee family, which all attacked me, my face, my hands… I went screaming, trying to block my face… my dad didn’t know what to do, so he grabbed the first thing he saw, which was a can of gasoline, and started spraying me with it, to scare the bees away. I don’t remember what happened next and my father cant even remember the episode.
Its funny how different our memories are from our parents, certain things I remember that my mom or dad cant even recall. I believe what ever is traumatic, scary or unusual a child will probably remember, as well as the good happy times. That’s why I want to give my girls the good memories they can remember, but the sad thing is that sometimes we as parents cant block our kids from all the unpleasant and scary or unhappy memories.
I remember climbing trees, running, living in my imaginary world, reading interesting books, and lots of other good memories, but I also remember pulling weeds, doing laundry, cleaning, washing and doing an endless list of chores.
When I was 12 we moved from Ukraine to America, my parents and 6 kids. We first stopped in Austria, where we stayed in a very tall hotel, in the middle of a very large city. We used to go with our father across the street to a very lovely park, with beautiful statues, fountains and flowers. I still had my tall very heavy doll with me, which I used to make my little sister carry, but one day she got sick and threw up on it, that was the last time I made her carry it. But my father left it in that hotel not wanting to be burdened by a very uncomfortable large doll. I was very sad. From then we were transported to Italy, and stayed in a very nice hotel as well, I remember it was very hot there. We always had hot chocolate for breakfast, and noodles swimming in butter for lunch. We probably had other things too, but that’s all I remember of what we ate. We had church every day, and we lived there for 3 months. After that we were transported to New York, and from there we were moved to our final destination in Portland, Oregon. It was an exciting trip for me, but probably stressful and scary for my parents. Its was October 1989. My mother gave birth to my sister after we got settled in Oregon.
I went to 5th grade, and at first I was just sitting watching the clock, until it turned 3:00pm so I could go home. After a while I started to understand what was being said and learned to speak English. School was fun for me, I liked to read so I was very excited when I could understand English books. I liked to draw which made it my favorite subject. The only unpleasant thing was that a lot of students didn't like Russian people, and I was called names and made fun off. There was one instance when a boy used to always ridicule me, the teacher heard but didn't say a word. That was sad, it still makes me cringe.
I graduated with flying colors and became an adult. In one way its easier to be an adult since when children grow up they tend to leave the unpleasant behavior behind them, but of course not all.
The lesson here is that kids are very sensitive, some more so then others, teach your kids to love all kinds of differences in other people and teach them not to ridicule anyone else. Now being an adult I understand children all tend to make fun of each other, but when I was a child no one told me that. Lets forget the sadness and lets be happy that we are alive and that God loves all of us equaly for which I am thankful.