I don’t really look at the sky anymore, and I can’t remember the last time I was on my hands and knees in the grass.
I remember the surge of excitement to see a green hill, because it meant rolling down while my mother called out to me about grass stains. I remember racing down a steep hill to the park that nestled at the bottom of it, going faster and faster as gravity whipped my legs downwards and forwards, and I don’t remember caring if I fell.
I remember hunting for foxes in the little thicket behind the swings; the very same thicket that I now look at and think of drug dealers. I remember lush greenery and the thick, fresh scent of earth flooding my nostrils. Loud rustling and muffled laughter as the orange trainers of my hunter, scuffed with mud, scraped past me just two inches away.
I remember the secret pathway between high holly bushes, and me whizzing though while flashes of our parents blinked at me through the foliage.
Making soup in the back garden with twigs and plastic buckets full of water and various plants.
Sliding down the stairs which, now, are a rusty hue and littered with stains, but were at the time colossal, curving roller coasters.
The sun setting over a huge paddling pool in the park, the silhouette of trees rising and falling with each mighty push of the swing. A cool breeze as we walked home after a long day of play, small fingers looped into the holes of hula hoop crisps, pretending we were royalty before biting them off our fingers.
I’m afraid to grow up because the immense joy of my childhood is slowly sliding off me, hanging on by tendrils as weak as a spider’s web.
But you know, I hear that adults can be children too. Cleverly disguised behind responsibilities and big words – but they can be children too.