Things I miss about being 8 years old

I miss being 8 years old.


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.


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.


  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?


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