I’ve mentioned a few times that what I appreciate out of life are the little things.
I find it hard to remember positive moments from my childhood. Not because of the distance between then and now but more to do with the fact that there were not many positive memories during my younger years.
The happy moments that stand out are usually times I spent alone in my own company. I enjoyed my own company and still do to this day. From a young age, I played alone even though I had a sibling two rooms down from me. It was not in her agenda to play with me. I only annoyed and irritated her. It did not phase me. I had several stuffed animals to entertain me, a collection of ‘Barbie’ dolls that had suffered terrible hair-cuts at the hand of me that sat on the carpet drinking imaginary tea with their furry friends. I was happier with the little things. I had a vivid imagination and could get lost in it easily when it came to play. I was creative and loud and had a chorus of imaginary friends, something my family often mocked me for in later years. Looking back I feel immensely relieved I had those make-believe friends around me, I’m not sure I would have coped with the barrage of violent screaming without them.
I was often criticised for wanting to be alone. It contradicted the child I appeared to be; confident, loud and social.
The other memory that brings a smile to my face is that of waving to my mother as she left for work. My mother was a teacher and until I was nine years old, I attended the same school that she taught in. After my parents decided to move me to a local, private school, I no longer travelled with my mother in the mornings. I never realised how much I would miss it. A new routine ensued, much to my father’s horror.
Every morning at a certain time when my mother left for work, I made sure I was ready by my mother’s bedroom window. I opened it wide and watched as my mother walked to the bus stop. I could follow her few footsteps before she disappeared out of sight. At each point before she had to cross a road, my mother would stop to wave at me. Sometimes, knowing she would shortly be hidden, my mother would stop and wave for the final time before she had completely gone from my view.
Only then could I consider getting ready for school.
That went on every day for years. But of course, eventually it stopped.
That memory brings a smile to my face. But it also brings a tear.
I needed her so much, my love for her was so strong for so long but she never knew it. She accused me of not loving her at all and that was not true. All I ever wanted was her love.
His as well.