Once upon a time there was a little girl who was four years old.
She loved imagining.
She would only let her mom do her hair like "princess hair".
She loved baby dolls and told all her secrets to them.
Sometimes she had nightmares about skulls. Those were not her favorite dreams.
She loved her little sister, even when she was being chased by her with booger fingers around and around the kitchen table. Well, she loved her the other times.
She loved dreaming about what it would be like if the ceiling were the floor, instead.
She loved her parakeet, Peeper. He was an unusual parakeet, he enjoyed being read to. Her mother sometimes found her asleep with Peeper snoozing on her chest and a book in her lap.
She loved Mr. Apple Face Horse. That wasn't his real name, he lived behind her house in a large pasture. But, when she called in her little girl voice, he came thundering across the pasture, stopping short of barreling through the fence. He loved apples.
She loved cool breezes, and walking around the land outside with Daddy.
She loved making miniature pies at Thanksgiving with Mommy.
She loved her bouncing horse on springs.
She loved that her grandma lived up the road and she could walk up to see her.
She loved the smell of cherry tobacco, because that's what Grandpa smelled like.
She loved getting up on a chair at Grandma's sink to look out the window as she washed lettuce for lunch. She hated getting water on her arms.
She loved listening to Daddy's records.
She loved the huge Christmas tree that had her very own doll carriage underneath it. Two in fact, one for her and her sister. She loved her jewelry music box with the tiny twirling ballerina.
She liked rice alright--until she was sick and threw up. It was years before she could touch it again.
She loved the little yellow swing that was in the trees on the property. She could only visit it with Daddy because the trees weren't by the house.
She thought it was funny and gross when her little sister stripped naked and rubbed red clay mud from head to toe.
She remembers hanging on the doorknob in the wintertime trying to get inside, having gotten the door open but her boots were sliding on the ice. She screamed for her mom as she hung on for dear life. She still remembers the complete relief and trust she felt when her mom came to rescue her.
She doesn't miss the giant horseflies.
She loved visiting the health food store that Daddy and Mommy ran. Well, except for the time when the little boy bit her and stole her raisins. She remembers the maple sugar candy she would have sometimes. Molded in different shapes, it was creamy and sweet.
Years have passed and still at times, she yearns for the simplicity of her childhood. She wishes now that just once, she could open the door into the past and smell the clean breezes, call for Mr. Apple Face Horse, and run up the road to visit Grandma.