These are some of the things I miss about being 8 years old.
I miss the Rothman’s Durban July supplement with all the pictures of the horses.
I miss waiting for photos to come out, and the way my mother peeled back the cellophane in the albums to stick them down.
I miss Sunday lunch and newspapers and the thwack of tennis balls during the Wimbledon Final on my grandparents’ colour TV.
I miss the murmur of grownups drinking coffee.
I miss Sol Kerzner and Anneline Kriel.
I miss the sticky sound of pages in a new set of World Book Encyclopedias, and how enchanted I was by the knowledge inside.
I miss not knowing about skin cancer.
I miss liking Ronald Reagan and thinking he was a nice sort of uncle.
I miss Maya the Bee.
I miss the Marmite ad, where the woman said “That’s my Marmite.”
I miss Knight Rider and Kitt’s voice, before I found out he was the guy from St Elsewhere, and that ruined it.
I miss thinking farts were the funniest thing ever.
I miss getting to eat the Pope’s nose.
I miss not knowing that I wasn’t pretty, though that isn’t true because I already knew I wasn’t pretty when I was seven years old.
I miss not having a clue about boobs or boys or sex.
I miss thinking 50 cents was a fortune, because you could buy a Lunch Bar and a packet of chips from the tuckshop, with money left over for Chappies.
I miss not knowing that so much was wrong in the world, that there were 8 year olds not so far from me who knew nothing of innocence (though I probably shouldn’t admit that).
I miss not knowing the meaning of the word “rape”. For years I thought it meant stabbing a woman with a knife.
I miss myself before I turned nine, and got sad.
I miss believing in God.
I miss wanting to be a ballerina.
I miss practising Bach 2 part inventions and thinking I could be a pianist.
I miss Mrs Houghton, the first teacher I loved.
I miss believing that everything would just happen, because it always did.