Today I spent some time with my mother, her partner, and her partner’s five-year-old daughter. And I watched as my Mum, who herself had been an excellently patient parent, became frustrated with the little girl’s expressions, behaviours, and general nonsensical chatter. When I was with the wee lass I was only ever fascinated by the missing links in some of her thoughts and the startling intuition she would occasionally show toward strangers. What I decided was that my mother has forgotten what it is like to be missing so much information and at what age she or I was ready to learn it. She’s forgotten what it was like to be a kid.
In a way, I’m very lucky to have been the kind of child that I was. I was curious, fairly bashful in public and eager for creativity- I could think of any excuse to draw and write. Sometimes I just would to pass the time hiding from other kids. This means that I managed to preserve many of my childhood thoughts and ideas. I have pulled out a poem I wrote at nine. It doesn’t connect anything- just decided I liked it and it’s a good example of the kind of honesty I saw in the little girl today.
In my world roses wouldn’t have prickles.
In my world daffodils wouldn’t give off so much sap when you pick them.
In my world lilies wouldn’t smell like pee.
In my world, when people cut down a tree they would then plant the one that will replace it.
I love autumn and winter. I love walking in cool, fresh air;
But thankfully in my world you wouldn’t get numb fingers from the cold.
When you walk in autumn it’s best to walk in the early morning or in the dark evenings. It’s especially good in New York;
But in my world there wouldn’t be the awful stink of smoke and car fumes.
People know that I eat a lot- I have been called the ‘waste disposal unit’. I love cooking and food, and my favourite thing to cook and eat is spaghetti bolognaise;
But I don’t like it when it stains the sides of your lips.
In my world it wouldn’t.
It would look just as good, the taste would still be great;
But our indulgences wouldn’t mark us as sinners or leave us so bloated that we’re too tired to see what is right in front of us.