There’s a little girl inside me screaming “I told you so, I told you so!!”.
6 was the perfect age.
And ever since then there has been the teeniest tiniest part of my self, my “me” which has stubbornly refused to grow up past 6. Of course, the rest of me was all grown up from the time I was 2, so it’s not as though I’ve ever been the most balanced individual! For the last twenty years or so, I’ve done my best to grown down in fact, and learn to be little as it seems to be an important step in life that I simply skipped.
At 6 I lived quite calmly and happily with Maman, Papa, little sister Olivia (don’t get me started, I’m all full of eldest child issues – let’s just say that most of them are resolved and the thousand or so kilometres that separate us do a splendid job of keeping the peace. In this way we love each other and have found a sisterly bond which is rather pleasant!), and baby Matthieu (not an issue, as a new born he was simply interesting and sweet).
I was the “big girl”, the “good girl” and could be trusted with (in my mind) pretty much anything.
School was just across the road, the bakery round the corner so that I could go and buy the croissants on Sunday mornings. My best friend lived in the flat just above ours and my other best friend was two minutes around the corner.
The forest with playground was close, I remember a market and a general humdrumness to life that was safe and peaceful.
It’s true to say that I HATED the music lessons I attended that year at the local conservatoire. They were held in a basement room and I remember the bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling with dread. Touching a musical instrument was out of the question (gracious me!!! not until you can read music and do your solfege) and it felt like torture! Playing the piano upstairs was FAR more satisfying!
Baby brother was born and other than the annoying visit from my grandparents come to help (and just getting in the way from what 6 year old me could see) was a rather delightful addition to the household.
School was good if a little dull, and I had lovely friends.
Pretty much a perfect idyll.
We moved to England then (and actually that was the best thing that could have happened for me) and that move crystallized “6” as a perfect year. Up to and including its (then) traumatic and dreadful end. How could my parents take me away from my friends? Take me to a land where people spoke gobbledygook? Not ask my opinion????? By comparison, everything in my life was completely, utterly perfect. And thus it stayed!
Today I had to be a grown up.
Really, seriously grown up.
Which I hate.
I had to phone an official body and make a serious complaint without offence in order to put right a decision that could make my little boy’s life a misery now, and disadvantage him far far into the future.
I have to save him. That’s major grown up stuff right there.
In these moments there’s a little girl inside me screaming “I told you so!!! Growing up is bad! Stay 6!”. She’s screaming and crying and imbued with an overwhelming sense of justice denied because all of this is simply WRONG!
Which is all very well, but really doesn’t help with the whole “being a grown up” thing.
I’ve learnt not to babble, to listen. To type a letter out first and use it to guide my conversation.
I’ve learnt through bitter experience not to trust. To record EVERYTHING! This goes against my nature which is trusting to the point of naivety. I find it astoundingly easy to see someone else’s point of view. That by definition humanises them and makes their actions understandable. Trust follows incredibly easily. Unfortunately trust has backfired on me a lot!!
So I picked up my phone today, and donned my grown up voice and made my notes and made my point.
All the while that little girl inside was making my whole body shake and it took more energy than I can describe to keep my voice steady.
Now we wait.
Having done the grown up thing I can stop being so grown up for a while, and the little girl inside stops fighting quite so hard.
But still… 6…
What is/was YOUR perfect age??? And comment please, cos I do want to know!!! It seems unimaginable to choose an adult age, but then that’s “6” speaking again (the idea 6 you understand, comes with the freedom of adulthood too 😉 ).