#52snapshots 2022 | Week 32–What You Wanted as a Kid But Didn’t Get

This week’s prompt asks us to write about the things we wanted as kids but didn’t get.

My twin and I had our designated space in the “back-back” of the family station wagon. We loved to sit facing out and waving to people in the cars that surrounded us, trying to get them to wave back. We also made up songs about things we wanted. One of these songs was about wanting a puppy: “We want a puppy, we want a puppy, we want a puppy of our own.” Another was exclusively mine after weeks at Nah-Jee-Wah summer camp in the Poconos where I must have had a counselor named Helene. The song was: “I want Helene as my teacher, I want Helene as my teacher, I want Helene as my teacher.” Of course, Helene did not show up at Roosevelt School in Kearny, New Jersey.

What sticks with me is the memory of the songs themselves and the creativity involved in generating the tunes. The lyrics were hardly stellar. I made up a song about the Erie Lackawanna railroad (Erie Lackawanna, Erie Lackawanna, Erie like I want you) and another one that used the melody from the Kinks song, “All Day and All of the Night” (Erp, the burp, my sister’s a jerk, in the bedroom all day and all of the night). And then there was the one about Stuckey’s during a road trip south.

I never pursued music, although I tried playing the viola in the fourth grade and gave it up when my eldest sister told me the strings were made of cat gut. I did not eagerly participate in piano lessons with Mrs. S, because I preferred watching “Batman” and “F Troop.”

There were never bad feelings about not getting what we wanted. I suppose the biggest “thing” we may have wanted was a baby brother. That never happened either. My twin and I were more than enough for our parents to handle and we were daughters No. 3 and 4. Our parents were done.

Sitting on the piano bench on either our third or fifth birthday (I’m on the right)

What did you want but didn’t get?

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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