There are moments in my life I’d love to relive, but never change a thing.
I’d like to jump into the skin of my once small self, stand on a kitchen chair, and help my mother make cookies for visitor’s night at Boy Scout camp.
I want to feel the warmth of the crackling campfire on my face and, at nights end, ride on dad’s shoulders, my head resting on his.
Give me back a sunny day in southern West Virginia when my brothers and I lost ourselves—on purpose—in the leafy mountains above Mulberry Street. Or even that snowy day on those same mountains when Billy Harvit and I cut his first Christmas tree and dragged it to his front door.
His family was Jewish by faith, but he and I decided they needed a Christmas tree.
Once, upon the death of our washing machine, my mom and I spent an afternoon at the laundromat. I probably complained the whole way there.
In between washing, drying and folding, we feasted on fresh juicy cherries from the fruit market next door. I’d do it again.
Cherries. I’m a tiny girl spending an afternoon making cherry pies with my grandmother—she guiding my hand over the rolling pin. Ohhh, the taste of those pies warm out of the oven.
Let me dribble down the court in one of the few high school basketball games when I knew—the minute the ball rolled off my fingertips—that it would find net.
Let me slide into my seat that first day of honors English in high school. When Mrs. Morgan closed the classroom door, her students were transported to a different universe—one in which we loved—yes, loved—grammar.
That woman could make a self-proclaimed non-reader pick up Moby Dick and think it was a page-turner. I want to revel in the magic of that day—the beginning of the motivation and confidence Mrs. Morgan inspired in me.
I’d gladly revisit my parents’ front porch after my first date with Gary. Every time Gary went for the big kiss goodnight, our family’s small black terrier growled his watchdog bark.
Take me back to that laugh out loud night.
I might have to sell this one, but I’d so love to revisit 72 particular hours—three separate 24-hour increments beginning at the first pang of labor through just a few hours after the births of each of my children.
The birth of a child is the literal definition of being high on life.
If I said I harbored no moments I’d like to not only relive, but redo, I’d be lying. Everyone can name an incident or two or 20 they’d love to have back in order to make a few edits.
I’d like to redo the two first days of school after our family moved to new towns. I want to pay attention to those who first reached out to sincerely welcome me. I want to thank them.
It would be oh, so cool to meet my dad at the tennis court on a day we played all evening. I don’t even care if it’s one of the many times he handed me a solid pounding.
What I want is the opportunity to sit on a bench after the pounding and ask him all the questions I wish I’d thought to ask before. I want to return to that bench and listen—really listen.
I wish I could, but I can’t, fix all the times I’ve spoken before thinking. Instead, I’ll say I’m sorry and mean it.
There is not space within this fine print to list all the things I’d relive, but my biggest treasures were born from small moments.