For some of us, childhood was a loooong time ago! Others, it’s closer in. However much time has passed since we were in the single digits, here are some great prompts to bring those memories back for whatever you’re writing.
Recall your routines. Routines are easier to remember because we did them daily or weekly and they are more likely to be imprinted in our minds.
Let’s think about bedtime. Bedtime is a major event in children’s lives and can
Picture your bedtime routine as a child. What was it like?
Emotions: Did you beg for a glass of water to stall going to sleep? Did you hide under the bed from a drunken parent?
Surroundings: What did you see? Did you have a bed? Did you have a magnificent bedroom filled with “all the things” that just felt empty? Did someone tuck you in and say prayers? Were you all alone? What color was your room? Did you have a nightlight?
Touch: What pajamas did you wear and what were your sheets like? How did those feel on your skin? Did you sleep with a doll or stuffed animal or sibling?
Tastes: What tastes were associated with bedtime? Did you have a snack before bed? Was your stomach growling for lack of food? What toothpaste did you use?
Smells: Were there smells associated with bedtime? Candles burning out, Dad’s cigarette or Vick’s Vaporub on your nightstand?
Noises: What kind of noises were there? Crickets and nighttime forest noises? City traffic and sirens? Storms? Parents watching TV or making love or arguing? Parties? Quiet? Empty house? Siblings? Pets? Who was making what noise?
What other senses and emotions surround your bedtime routine as a child?
As you think about these things, jot down notes about them. Maybe you prefer a list. Or, could be you prefer to write sentences or even a story.
Is there one particular bedtime you remember? Did something traumatic happen? Did something wonderful happen? Note that and write about that! Mull over these things and be sure to notice the details, senses and emotions. Those will bring life to your writing.
Good writing to you!
NOTE: As you recall childhood events certain strong emotions may arise, especially if there is trauma in your past. If these feelings are uncomfortable or cause you distress, please reach out to a trusted friend, therapist, clergy or other professional for guidance. Take your mental health seriously as you write about your life. Bless you!