I remember being loved.
Not just caresses and kisses. I remember walks to parks. I remember hands picking me up and swinging me high, stories under a vivid blue sky.
I remember sweet encouragement, and fingers smelling faintly of cooking doing up my buttons, pointing out different kinds of plants.
I remember excitement after a hot school day, uncomfortable sweat and uniform shirt in a bunch under my pinafore, to share my adventures with my parents.
I remember giggles with my father, over a silly cartoon.
I remember incessant questions pouring from my mouth, and tireless replies.
I remember tall people coming to our house, countless dinner parties, countless bejewelled laps to sit on and adorned necks to wrap my arms around. I remember sitting on a beautiful woman’s lap and asking why her skin was brown.
I remember creases in her hazel eyes, and I don’t remember her explanation. I just remember love and kindness in her words.
I remember Sheila and her bathroom swimming pools. I remember sandy parks and laughter over fallen ice creams. I remember car journeys ending in days by the beach, small sand worms and dozens of shells in small, grubby hands.
I remember entire summer days spent in the garden, through wind, rain and sun. Paddling pools and leaf stew made in a bucket with a stick for a ladle. Mangoes and mint club bars. Picnics in Regent Park, swans and boats and hundreds of flowers.
I remember Morocco at age four; the same streets I saw then I see as an adult now. I don’t remember dirt and poverty, though. I remember squeals of excitement as I chase a cockroach down the street. I remember imagining magnificent and strange worlds on a street that now, to my adult eyes, is old and weary. I remember colour and thousands of kaleidoscopic dimensions.
I remember so many things, small baby mind taking in a large colourful world.
And I remember being so, so loved.