I walked into an AutoZone today, yes, an AutoZone; and a wave of nostalgia rolled over me. Maybe it’s because I am seeing my grandparents feel their age or maybe it’s because I’ve been in college for almost an entire year. Either way, vivid memories of my childhood have snuck their way into my day-to-day.
The simple smell of the AutoZone brought me straight back to simpler times. It wasn’t even a Napa (my father’s preferred parts store), but it was the smell of a parts store. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the shop of a heavy machinery mechanic–my dad’s shop. I was always more than willing to accompany him to get parts, mostly because it involved a comfortable silence accompanied by the purr of a diesel motor: him listening to ESPN and me lost in a Percy Jackson book, most likely.
With the arrival of Spring, sun-filled memories of days spent by the pool alongside my mother have also returned. She would wear the same multi-colored striped bikini every time, soaking up the rays before tanning was frowned upon (at least in our household). I didn’t have the patience for tanning, or for anything at all at the age of 8. These days were some of the best.
A lot has changed since those days: the neighborhood, our lifestyles, and most obviously, my stage of life. Sure, I haven’t been eight years old for a long time now, but sometimes I yearn for the simplicity of those days. The time really flies and sometimes I wish I could return to those days just to savor the moments.
While my childhood is over, I do hold within me a great excitement for what’s to come. I was fortunate enough, growing up, to have amazing parents, parents who are equal parts tough and nurturing. I am also grateful for the memories that we have shared and for the memories to come.
Thank you, mom and dad.