Even though I’m only eighteen, I always feel old when I think back to when I was a child, in those days before double figures. In those days, there were four of us, all running round, playing our imaginative games together. In those days, we all had fun together.
When I was younger, I led all the games, mainly because I was the eldest, and so, in my sister’s eyes, must obviously be able to think up the best games. So my games involved civil wars, pirates (there were some lovely trees on our driveway, just right for sailing the high seas on), American Indians, sword fighting, and travelling the prairies in covered wagons. Sometimes we rowed ourselves around the garden in a baby bath…er, rowboat. Every day was outside, playing with leaves, sticks, and lashing of imagination.
But one couldn’t play outside all the time. So we had our games inside too. My dad used to bring home lots of paper from work. It was printed on one side, but the other was blank and white. Just right for drawing on. But I wasn’t ever content just to draw. No, my pictures told a story, and always, for some reason, involved bunk beds stacked six beds high. Maybe they were just easy to draw.
Then there were libraries, with catalogues written in my sprawling handwriting and tape covered library cards. Or massive games with Barbie dolls that lasted weeks at a time. It was a convenient excuse not to clean my room. We simply couldn’t, or we’d mess up the game.
I compare what we did then with how things are now. Now there is only one little girl running around, imagining she's a pirate. Now there's only one little girl sitting on the floor, surrounded by piles of toys and having a wonderful game. We've grown up and left her behind to play on her own. It's such a pity. Maybe I might forget that I'm so old and join on the floor with her toys and games and pretend I'm only nine again too.