I suppose we all think we remember what it is like to be a child. I’ve always been a great admirer of writers who can produce stories and characters that grip the attention of children. I often think that some books for very young kids are designed to appeal to parents. Writing for children is a special talent and I’m guessing that you need some element of personality that is still rooted in being a child or younger person. I must admit to wondering if you actually have to like children. Maybe to know children you have to retain some their utter cruelty. Are there any children’s writers out there to tell me?
This topic came to mind as I was sitting in my bus yesterday afternoon. A woman with a little boy of no more than 3 walked past and we made eye contact. I could see she was kind. A few yards ahead was an enormous puddle. The lad looked up at mum who smiled consent to an unasked question. The lad ran in splashing and shrieking with delight. Soon he was soaked and the reality of cold wet clothes overcame his pleasure. I guess that was his first time and I was forced to reflect on how quickly the predators begin to nibble at our innocence. All the same it was one of those little golden moments that will stay with me. She was a lovely mum and no statesman or super star has ever done more.
Once your kids grow up and in my case very quickly become far more serious and sensible than me, you kinda lose touch with a large slice of the world. Luckily, driving a school bus has refilled my account with all manner youthful cultural currency. I do like to have a little sing and a bop about as I’m waiting for the kids to come out. Yesterday a student took the time to give me a steer to Genki Sudo and a music group named “World Order”. Now, I missed all those protest songs that were spawned by the Vietnam War and the threat/fear of nuclear attack. It is tempting to think of young folk as conditioned and accepting on account of the lack of overt radicalism in politics. This little clip (you may think it goes on a bit) represents some cogent social comment and the yoofs are much more aware than you would think. It is also very troubling to realise than most people are so much more talented, so much younger and so under employed.
A high powered committee have named three new elements for the periodic table. Apparently they are super-heavy and fall apart as soon as they are created. Tomorrow I’m gonna send them one of my poor attempts at Quiche pastry. Soon Calinium will be number 113. Immortality at last.
Emma thinx: Youth – your state of mind before your mind’s a state.