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.
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.
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.