A to Z 2013 : NOSTALGIA

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Childhood. I always remembered the phrase: “as a kid you always want to grow up, but when you do you wish you could be a kid again.” Okay, I’m not completely certain that is exact, but you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes kids try to grow up too fast. I think some don’t get to fully experience being young, whether by choice or forced (forced makes me think of those children beauty pageants that make me incredibly sick to my stomach). They can’t wait to have this profession or that (usually a cowboy or princess), can’t wait to drive, can’t wait to have a family; the aspirations changing through the years.

I can’t recall if I wanted to grow up fast or not. I know I wanted to be a cowboy, a cop, a private detective, and then a bounty hunter (are you seeing a theme here?). Then dreams of being an artist/writer of comic books and novels came about. I don’t think this meant I wanted to grow up any faster, but like I said I can’t recall my state of mind. My family would, but I haven’t asked them previously.

One thing I do know is that I can’t recall a lot of my childhood; just little blips. I see pictures my relatives will post, and I’ve absolutely no recollection of the event/time frame. We aren’t talking only pictures of when an infant to three years old, but where I seem to be ten or older. Not exactly sure why I can’t remember these events. People have tried to hypothesis a handful of reasons, most usually involving trauma.

Resistance is Futile

A good chunk of what I do remember, however, are times I wish I could revisit/relive. Some of my favorite memories revolve around my creativity. For example, I would make games for my brothers and I to play together. These games could involve paper, cardboard bricks, or whatever else I had access to.

The main building block... to many of these creations were Legos. I would use our coffee table to build an entire street of a town. Sometimes I would enact a movie for them, but other times we would play a game. The game had no real name really (that I recall), and it was a variant of one I made with G.I. Joes (we were all boys, so yeah).

I guess it was called Friday the 13th after the movies, because that was my premise. You had a character and you decided which location/house you wanted to be at in town. I’d then use cards, which were shuffled (every day I’m shufflin’), and lay them out face down in front of the locations. I think I sometimes allowed for a character move now and again, but once everyone was ready I would then flip up the cards one by one. Those that were inside the Lego house marked by a face card died. What killed them? You know... ghosts. It was a haunted Lego city no one moved out of... just moved a lot on the same street.

We all loved playing that game. Even the G.I. Joe version it originated from which used books as “cabins” and an “outhouse” was popular among them; the killing being dished out by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-esque Jason Voorhees.

Eventually the games got a bit more complicated; dice were added to the mix. One of my favorite games consisted of constructing a Lego base that was besieged by the Borg (of Star Trek origin, if you weren’t geeky enough). You had a limited amount of space you could move, and if you were engaged by a Borg you would “battle” by rolling the dice. Our characters got 2 or 3 lives before being assimilated. The other characters (I guess Red Shirts by all accounts) would only have one. It all played out like an epic movie. Trust me. I know. I was there!

The Brothers, The Brothers

Through the years, after (and during) all the sibling rivalry/fights, the four of us have gamed together; Magic: the Gathering, board/card games, but mainly video games. Once we all got our own places/families/lives we had a weekly designated Game Night (generally Tuesday evenings). My brothers would come over — their TVs and game systems in tow — and we would spend the entire night gaming together. This was usually the highlight of my week, and I’d like to think it was for them too. If someone couldn’t make it, we would get pretty huffy.

Like with all things losing its appeal, eventually attendance dwindled as life dictated, and eventually we all chose one system (Xbox) to play on. Soon everyone had the internet, were online, and could game together from home. Game Night was reborn!

Again, that too began to flux, to the point where now I may game with one of my brothers every few weeks. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t game as much, and two of my brothers don’t play on Xbox anymore. I’ve just recently made up for it some by seeing those two brothers on Monday’s and playing with them on the horrid PS3. The third brother I see often on Xbox still and we play when able.

I long for a monthly (being weekly may be unrealistic) Game Night where we can all get together and game again. It spawned from our holiday tradition of playing video games at family gatherings — like Thanksgiving — while the rest of the family watched football, and I am a creature of habit.

Touched

What I miss the most, though, is that creativity. I guess it makes sense that I would have aspirations to be a writer; writer’s can create entire worlds, people, etc. A game designer was also high on my list. I even began to create a card game, but eventually almost all of that — along with most of my writing — was lost in multiple hard drive crashes.

I like creating things for people, but mostly for those I love and cherish. Over the last few years, I feel as though I’ve lost that creative spark. I get little surges of inspiration, but I never end up following through and finishing any projects. This is where the lack of motivation comes into play. I never have the lack of ideas, just the lack of drive.

I wish I could channel that ability I had when I was a child growing up. To be continually active in creating new things for myself and those I care about; for the world. For anyone and everyone to enjoy if they saw fit. To see or hear about how something I brought into the world touched someone in a very positive way. Touched their heart.

Even if just producing one more additional smile or laugh in this stream of life.

What did you want to grow up to be as a child? What games would you play with your siblings? Any sibling traditions? What are you most nostalgic about?