Monday, June 05, 2006


Can you imagine what it would be like to be three years old again? Not a single shred of cynicism to cloud your mind or furrow your brow. Every thing you do is a new experience and it's always, always exciting. Unless it's scary, and then you just refuse to do it, like not eating the funny bits of dinner that you don't like the look of.

Each Sunday I visit friends for lunch and just live for the pleasure of playing with their daughter all day. Usually I'll be subjected to an endless procession of books to read and games to play. Sometimes we'll do both at once. Often we'll play house and I'll endure pretend cups of tea and ice cream cooked in her miniature microwave oven (you try telling her that's not how it works). Sometimes we invent games and also make things too, which means fun with glue and glitter and generally being really messy.

This Sunday we took a trip to the park. Her mum told me that she had been looking forward to this all weekend. I was wearing a t-shirt that read "birth-work-death" in a logo that parodies the recycling symbol, and there I was having my cynicism washed away by a three year old endlessly climbing up the steps of the slide and shouting wheeee in a fit of giggles as she came hurtling down it.
I remember buying that t-shirt. I remember chuckling when I bought it. I just never envisaged myself wearing it a couple of years later whilst making daisy-chains in the sunshine.
I think she must have climbed that slide at least 30 times, and in fact one of the few Sundays where she actually got properly tired. She has enough much energy to put all of us to shame. Her chatter is essentially one question after another, a constant thirst for knowledge for which she doesn't yet have a purpose - she just needs to know. When she looks at me, it is always directly into my eyes. There is no evasion of eye-contact with her, nor any other evidence of the barriers we adults place upon ourselves to protect against our own insecurities. That will come later, and it makes me so sad.

But, each week I learn so much from her. She is the brake on my skewed view of life. It sometimes seems so very strange to me that this won't last forever, as each week she grows up a little more, but right now she is my balance in this crazy world.

1 comment:

Sally said...

I love this post for all the right reasons. x