I was driving to a meeting yesterday and noticed a group of kids hanging out on a wall next to CVS, eating candy and laughing. It sent me back to elementary school, when my friends and I would get permission to ride the bus home together so we could go to WaWa (Pennsylvania’s convenient store of choice) and spend our allowances on candy. I’d almost always get a KitKat and eat each layer, one-by-one, savoring the whole thing. We’d walk home on the bike path and play on the playgrounds that scattered the length of it. For a dollar or two, we could have so much fun for hours and hours. Nothing got us through a long day of school like the anticipation of going to pick out our candy on our own and have the freedom to play until sundown.
It brought me back to when things were so simple as a kid. My biggest concern was generally with whom I’d sit on the bus, or if the bus driver would give me grief for taking her bus and not mine over to my friend’s house. While at the time those things seemed so important, it reminded me that even my stresses now seem worth my energy, but generally are not. I’d imagine that looking back in another 20 or years like I do on my elementary school days, they will be forgettable and small for the most part. And if memorable, hopefully they’ll be formative in some way.
Sometimes I love those surprises that cross your radar and remind you of little things that brought you happiness. It’s challenging to slow down and take in the small moments, but sometimes I think those are the most important and we might be missing them.