A friend and I were talking about young children and how observant they are, and how they see things we take fro granted in a different way because of course they are fresh and new to them. We went on to talk about how adept they are at new technology, and how many of them still love stories on paper and being read to and trying to read themselves. Young children seem to have such a huge knowledge, and we went on to the fact that life is no longer simple. Toys, for example, are often quite complex – my friend’s grandchild was given a big blue plastic dinosaur with moving parts, and he realised it would make a noise because it had little holes where a sound would come out.
We thought back to our own childhoods and reminisced for a while about those far off days which are still surprisingly vivid. My sister and I loved jigsaws, but we only had a few and would do them again and again. Sometimes we would do them upside down, but I could never do what she could, turn them over and complete them face down! She could see the shapes whereas I needed the picture! We would play games like dominos, draughts, Monopoly and later Scrabble. I think I liked games better than she did, and I would play them with imaginary friends – and never cheated! We drew, we painted, we read our story books, the same ones over and over. I’m not saying this was better than the fantastic array of everything many children have theses days, it was just different.
As my friend and I were talking, and remembering what it was like to be small, I thought about crouching or lying down in the garden, and seeing the tiniest insects and being fascinated by blades of grass, daisy petals, snail shells, clover leaves, being intrigued and fascinated by this tiny world. I could almost smell the lawn, different leaves, damp soil, the ashes from our coal fire which smelt different from the ashes of the bonfire. Maybe I should go outside tomorrow and lie on the grass and see what i can see!