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child at heart

4 Nov

The other night Mr Milk and I went to parents evening at the school Big Milk will be starting in January. As they took us through a photo montage of all the things he will be getting up to all I could think was “Why can’t it be me?” (I didn’t stomp my foot in childish rage at this point, but I kind of wanted to)

I reckon there are two types of people. Those that much prefer being an adult, and those that would really quite like to be children again. I’m definitely in the latter camp and am regularly scoffed at in disbelief by the former.

Last year when I walked Big Milk into preschool at Christmas time I felt myself wanting to cry when i saw the room set up for panto. The buzz of excitement in the air transported me right back in time. I felt as if just seconds had passed since i was that child staring in awe at the cardboard stage.

Once when i dropped him off it took just a quick whiff of adhesive glue for a lump to form in my throat.

What is it that i miss so much it feels almost like a bereavement to me? I’ve written before about time, and how i grieve its passing like a lost friend. I relish every step of the journey with my kids and look on with immense pride, and yet there is this bizarre and slightly awkard smattering of jealousy.

I suppose it must be the security you miss. The protected world, so small and knowable. Never having to make difficult decisions, always being able to defer to someone bigger and meaner than you. Now the buck stops with you, and that can suck a bit.

This isn’t supposed to be a mawdling post, honest. This mourning of childhood is just a strange idiosyncracy of mine, that regularly surprises me. I’m a sad old bat. But i suppose i’m also very lucky to have had a golden childhood to look back on. Not everyone has that.