I don’t remember being particularly happy as a child. Perhaps it’s to do with the lack of outings. I don’t remember a lot of outings either. Perhaps other families just do these things but for us it was only ever Sunday lunch that brought us all together. There was no time for anything else. Time with family came as neatly packaged pockets of time, when one person or other was assigned to my care, and I was taken off to places like the cash and carry, or put into the spare lounge with a doll, or a book. Self sufficient, keeping myself entertained. Like a plant that begins to thrive on minute amounts of water. Give it a soaking and it starts to drown
The things I don’t remember are day trips to the lake, and the forest, and the park. An afternoon picnic, with a rug, and a noisy dog and a frisbee. Singing songs in the car on the way to the beach. Watching all the adults take over a children’s game of rounders after a couple of beers. Clearing the space in the back garden for the bonfire, and piling up all the wood we gathered at the weekend. Holding hands while we walk through a new city, close to us, but far enough away to be an adventure. Being allowed to walk through the gift shop at the end of the day and choose one thing. The sudden lack of movement as the car comes to a halt at home bringing sleep to an end. Being asked what I would like to do and then getting to do it.
(From a prompt: ‘I don’t remember’. Done in about five minutes, and truthfully, I am so rusty that five minutes is about all I can manage at a stretch before I begin to think I ought to give up again. Note to self: try to squeeze in some practice before bedtime so that you’re not completely and utterly knackered.)