Things I remember when I’m sad.

I remember being eight.

I remember camping from California to Texas with my grandparents for my “golden” birthday. I remember my grandpa saying, “you were born on the eighth day of the eighth month, and you’re turning eight! It’s a golden birthday!” I remember getting a cake at a gas station in the middle of nowhere and being able to choose a Winnie the Pooh birthday candle. I remember the smell of my grandpa’s 2002 Toyota Tacoma. I remember looking out of the window at each town we passed through and being completely content with the mundane nature of the trip. I remember meeting a girl in Mrs. Fredrich’s class and her becoming my best friend. I remember her and I hiding from the rest of the kids on the playground under that tree in the far corner of the field. I remember reading a lot. I remember my parents being involved and sitting around the dinner table every night to tell stories of our day. I remember laughing a lot. I remember being brave and feeling untouchable. I remember riding my bike anywhere and everywhere. I remember my skin getting progressively darker and my hair getting lighter from my time spent in the sun. I remember swimming with my brother and pretending it was a beach somewhere else. I remember my little sister being a baby and jovially munching on a popsicle at the edge of the water. I remember my mom waking us up in the mornings for school and she’d sing while making breakfast. I remember brisk mornings and warm afternoons and chilly evenings. I remember reading with a flashlight under the covers. I remember my little brother coming in my room when he had a nightmare to sleep in my bed. I remember getting an MP3 player from my dad with music he thought I’d like downloaded on it. I remember believing in Santa that Christmas and getting my very own stereo and CDs to go with it. I remember feeling like everything was remedied by a phone call to my grandpa or a hug from dad. I remember being perfectly happy and I remember that all changing.

I remember being eight.