Message to an eight year old

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Thoughts on schooldays as told to a younger generation. With a twist in the tale.

Isn't it funny, those funny thoughts that sometimes pop into your head with no warning.  I had one recently, drinking my morning coffee and watching a group of kids with backpacks the size of a Ninja Turtle's, obviously on their way to school. I found myself suddenly pondering...What have I learnt in the many years since I was one of those unpainted canvases on legs myself?

Getting right into the fantasy, I imagined the conversation I would have on the subject.Right on cue, a small boy pulled at my imaginary sleeve to get my attention. He said " I want to be old enough to do what I want. Like grown ups do."
I asked him how old he was.
"Eight" he said.
"I thought that when I was your age". The years between us we suddenly a living thing... a snake with an innocent and harmless end, but also a fang decorated end. And lots of skin shedding along the way.

I remember the moment very well. The feeling of being trapped in an unbearable situation and adding up from my age of 10 to realise I would have at least 6 more years of this educational tyranny before my life would be my own to create. 6 years was like walking to the moon or counting the grains of sand on Scarborough beach. Soooooooo frustrating!
But of course the day came. And now it's been 38 years since the last day I bounded out of the school gates for the last time, swinging my bag and with my tie covered in signatures from similarly ecstatic classmates.

I looked at the little boy and said "At your age you haven't experienced very much. You don't notice the stones in the road or the relief when they are gone. But the secret is that you don't need to look at the road at all. You know someone was there before you. Preparing your path. And you can feel how solid the road is, and hear its scrapey accent under your feet. The trick is just to let your feet do the walking while you enjoy the ride."

When I was 9 years old I remember blushing at the injustice, after I was handed a homework assignment entitled 'Describe your journey to school'. " But nothing happens" I blubbered to my teacher. "Just a bus ride to the school and then I go straight inside".
I couldn't compare that with something interesting like a day at the Seaside or playing with my friends. And that's because I was so engrossed in the mechanics of transferring my young body from home to school that I only thought life existed in A and B and that there were no letters to describe anything in between.

"My road has been very long compared to yours" I told the little boy. "And everything has changed many times. The only thing you need to recognise is what stays with you. You will always be unique and so will your story. Once you are able to do exactly what you want it won't be so important anymore. 

The little boy smiled at me (probably thinking about how annoying old know-it-alls are). Then he did a little skip and ran off to play with his friends who lived opposite. He looked at the floor and made scrapey noises as he ran to see if it really did have an accent.  With his head in the clouds and a spring in his step, he ran headlong into the path of a returning school bus. It turns out that some funny thoughts are more funny peculiar than funny haha. 




Submitted: May 13, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Amanda Caroline Wilson. All rights reserved.

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Well that was a surprise, funny the thoughts that go through the head. I really enjoyed your little story, I think it's a good reflection on childhood years and what we want when we're younger, but we see it differently when we're older.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 2:20am


Thanks for your comment. I appreciate feedback and that was written with the emphasis being on my own way of wording,rather than considering the reader. I'm glad it still hit the mark.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 5:05am

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