Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Colors of a Gen X Childhood: (Week 2 of Fireflies at Dusk: A 52-Week Project)


This was play dough week. 

When I inhaled the smell of the fresh play dough, the scent took me back to some elementary school classroom in the early 80s where the weather was rain and thunder, and the air balmy from the open windows.  It made my heart skip a beat with how real another time and place can be brought back alive with just the scent of something.  I've noticed the same thing can happen with a very distinct color. Sometimes a color unexpectedly catches my eye in the most random place - maybe a candy wrapper in my peripheral vision as I am waiting in line to pay for groceries.  Then my mind turns into an old VHS player, like I can actually hear the tape rewinding until it stops to show me a still image memory long forgotten - maybe the color of the key chains they sold at the gift shop at one of the places I used to roller skate, or the color of my old best friend's Swatch.

If you were a child of the 70s, your memories may be filled with earth tones of pea green, rust, or gentle hues of yellow.  If you were a child of the 80s, your memories may include splashes of florescent pink, green and blue.  My childhood included both worlds. 

My little one was jumping up and down with delight as I introduced her to play dough for the first time.  She knew exactly what to do - she got a pinch from every color and rolled it into a ball of swirled design.  I love seeing all of her firsts.  The colors and scents of a Gen X childhood being brought to life just by taking the lid off a plastic container...

...a blue froggy-penguin emerges.
(c) 2011 photo and writing by Chloe - all rights reserved

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