The cherry on top

I was thinking this morning about this time when I was nine or ten and I took a sheet of puffy stickers with googly eyes — remember those? — and I decided, on a whim, to stick all the stickers, the entire sheet’s worth, in random places in my parents’ bathroom: the underside of the toilet seat, next to the shower head, inside the medicine cabinet, the plant stand. Secret places, not readily visible. About a dozen stickers. I stuck them all on, and I didn’t say anything about them, and they didn’t say anything about them. And then, what I remember now as a couple of months later, I was in their bathroom and I remembered the stickers, and I said to my mom, “Hey, did you ever—” and she laughed quietly and said, “Daddy and I had so much fun finding those.”

Sometimes I think that’s my favourite childhood memory, everything good wrapped up in a single moment: the Day-Glo colors and 3-D textures, the secret whimsy, the intimacy and silliness of it all and the way they kept my secret. The way they never got mad at me for messing up their bathroom. The way they never removed those stickers; I had that plant stand for years, all through my university-apartment days, and every so often I would catch a glimpse of that ice cream cone with a cherry on top still stuck on it and it always made me smile.

I wonder what my kids’ memories will be. I wonder if they already have them.

(What's your favourite, tiny, childhood memory? Why?)