Things I miss about being 8 years old

I miss being 8 years old.

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I miss being thrilled by the pictures of Arctic Cove and Sweet Wonder in the Rothman’s Durban July supplement.

I miss waiting for photos to come out, and the way my mother peeled back the cellophane in the albums to stick them down.

I miss Sunday lunch and newspapers and the thwack of tennis balls during the Wimbledon Final on my grandparents’ colour TV.

I miss the murmur of grownups talking about things I didn’t care about.

I miss Sol Kerzner and Annelien Kriel.

I miss the sticky sound of pages in a new set of World Book Encyclopedias, and how enchanted I was by the knowledge inside.

I miss making sand castles on the beach and not knowing about skin cancer.

I miss liking Ronald Reagan and thinking he was a nice sort of uncle.

I miss feeling important when I put on my dark blue cassock and white surplice to sing at the 10 o’clock service at St Michael’s.

I miss licking out the cake batter when my mother made birthday cakes.

I miss the delirious, delicious joy of Smarties and cupcakes.

Me 2

I miss Maya the Bee.

I miss the Marmite ad.

I miss Knight Rider and Kitt’s voice. I loved Kitt’s voice.

I miss loving Black Beauty more than any other book I had read.

I miss thinking farts were the funniest thing ever.

I miss not knowing about the F-word, though I got into trouble at school for using the word “bloody”.

I miss not caring what I looked like.

I miss not knowing whether I was fat or thin.

I miss not knowing that I wasn’t pretty, though that isn’t true because I knew I wasn’t pretty when I was six years old, and I will never forget that.

I miss not having a clue about boobs or boys or sex.

Me 3

I miss wanting to be a ballerina.

I miss practising Bach 2 part inventions and thinking I could be a pianist.

I miss drawing pictures of girls riding horses and wishing that one day, one day that would be me.

I miss my Sindy doll and my First Love and my electric Blue Train set.

I miss Pick Up Sticks and making model planes with Tinker Toy.

I miss thinking 50 cents was a fortune, because you could buy a Lunch Bar and a packet of chips from the tuckshop, with money left over for Chappies.

I miss not knowing about designer clothes and thinking anything from OK Bazaars was fine.

I miss not knowing that a BMW was better than my mother’s blue Ford Escort.

I miss not thinking that my mother’s baby blue Ford Escort was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I miss not knowing that so much was wrong in the world, that there were 8 year olds who knew nothing of innocence, though I probably shouldn’t admit that.

I miss not knowing the meaning of the word “rape”. For years I thought it meant stabbing a woman with a knife.

I miss knowing about Adam and Eve and being fascinated by dinosaurs and being able to believe both of these things at the same time without any difficulty at all.

I miss myself before I turned nine, and got sad.

I miss believing in God.

I miss Mrs Houghton, the first teacher I loved.

I miss thinking that my grandfather could broadcast his home videos on SABC because that was the way the world worked.

I miss wanting to taste a Wagon Wheel more than anything else in the world.

I miss not knowing that there was music I was supposed to like.

I miss not knowing that bread was bad.

I miss thinking that icecream and jelly was the single most amazing thing in the world, followed closely by peach slices and Ultramel.

I miss getting to eat the Pope’s nose.

I miss thinking my parents knew everything.

I miss believing that everything would just happen, because it always did.

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2 thoughts on “Things I miss about being 8 years old

  1. PM

    I think that it is wonderful that you have such lovely memories.

    I first travelled to South Africa in 1975 (about the time you were born, i think. I was 18 at the time), and spent a year there in 1977 (a year of study abroad). I ended up getting arrested by the security police, after Biko was murdered, and left not long after. And I was working in Washington DC when Reagan was President.

    While my memories of those times are a bit different than yours (understandably so, i think), I find it refreshing to be reminded that, even in bad times, there is still innocence in the world.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  2. PM

    So, if you are interested, here is something to explore:

    which loss do we regret more, as we age–potential (lost opportunities), or innocence?

    Reply

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