When I was 5

Carvel ice-cream in a baseball hat

When I was 5 we moved to an urban section of Queens, NY.  We lived on the second floor of a building with 2 sides connected by a courtyard.  I practiced drawing all the time partially thanks to a printing press on the ground floor.  We would grab discarded prints in huge stacks from their dumpster and draw on the backs.

The apartment we lived in had a bedroom for my older sister and I and one for my parents and baby brother.  There was also a closed in porch at the back that became a bedroom for my grandparents and I remember the windows with curtains that joined our room and theirs.  My grandparents’ room opened up onto a tar roof-deck and I can remember my grandfather fondly watching my baby brother play in a kiddy pool.  I can also remember seeing a praying mantis for the first time on that roof.

I remember the handmade piñatas my mother made for birthday parties.  I remember endless play with my sister.  I remember my dad hard at work.  I remember walking to Carvel with my grandparents on hot summer nights.  I remember lots of neighborhood kids with street games and the corner store and deli and Stork’s Bakery around the corner.  I remember my mother buying me rock candy on the walk home from kindergarten at St. Luke’s and us later making some.

I also remember being sick a lot and sitting by the window longing to go outside.  I remember having my tonsils out and being afraid and feeling lonely when I woke up in a crib in a room full of babies.  I remember coming home to lots of attention and new toys including The Sunshine Family that made it all better.

I think of that little girl and her happy life and hope my kids who are 4 and 6 remember these times as fondly one day.


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. This is such a sweet post, Ann. I also often wonder how my kids will remember this time, and how much I’ve done with them already that THEY DON’T REMEMBER! It’s so wild, I remember every second we’ve spent together! It’s so wild being on this side of a child’s memories.
    Tiffanie recently posted..eggs ‘n’ excessMy Profile

    • Thanks! I know. It is interesting how those years are so important developmentally and yet no memory of it…

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