Dear children of mine,
I grew up in a nondescript suburb in Sydney, Oz, and left it as soon as I could for the exotic climes of our capital city (ha!). But one day, I went back for a visit. Wandering up the high street, I looked up to find a woman staring at me, all honey blonde curls and drifting perfume.
You’re Rose, aren’t you? says she.
Yep, says me, and you’re…..?
Lucy, says the woman, and I realise that this here is my best friend from about age 8 to 12 – a pretty little thing and the most swashbuckling thief I’ve ever known. Course, I was a better liar. Anyway.
You haven’t changed at all, says Lucy, bathing me in a fatuous smile.
I have news for you, Lucy. I have changed. I might look the same, roughly, but most of me – as they say about icebergs – is under the water. What I’m trying to say, kidlets, is this. Don’t let anyone tell you what you are and or are not. Sure, they can have an opinion – it’s a free country – but you are a work of art always in the making. You began as a masterpiece, and with every day you become. Become what? Only the artist knows – and you’re the artist.
Somewhere inside me is that awkward kid, all pointy elbows and pugnacious attitude, who couldn’t make more than one friend at a time and whose understanding of life was mostly limited to The Three Musketeers and Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romances. But since then, I’ve learned to chat to anyone, speak in public, trust my instincts, clean up after myself (sometimes) and that babies don’t come out of your belly button.
Of course I’ve changed and so will you. Hope you don’t mind if I still call you ‘little one’ though.