Growing up for me was fun. It is a stage of my life I enjoyed very much, and I am always filled with nostalgia anytime I flashed my mind to my childhood. As a child, I basically had nothing to worry about because all my needs were catered for by my parent. Though my parents were not among the rich and influential persons, we were comfortable, and they ensured we had the necessities of life.
Childhood is the stage of being a child; the time in which persons were children; the condition or time from infancy to puberty. This stage to me is a stage of a free mind. Free mind in the sense that we do not have to preoccupy our mind or heart with worries and troubles of life. I relate this free mind to the experience of my peer mates during those years. I can vividly remember the excitement, joy, and happiness we expressed during playtime. It was a period of no or less stress like you have the world under your feet.
Playing was a major part of my childhood. I played with my elder siblings and my younger sister in the house and played with other children in the playground. I remembered running around in the rain in our compound, enjoying the fun of going to fetch water from the public borehole, racing games, bicycle rides, moonlight tales, children’s cooking with small tins outside, and molding houses with sands. It is hilarious whenever I look back to see the efforts, we put into making these sand houses and food knowing fully well that we or someone can destroy them easily with just their hand or leg. But these were among the joy of my childhood.
My younger sister and I were like twins. I am older than her by barely one year. So, we did a lot of things together. Some of our activities then were basically to wash plates once we woke up in the morning, take our baths, get prepared, and went to the same school. In school, we did morning devotion before the classes started. We learned with excitement as our teacher made the class interactive and engaging. We learned, sang, and played at the same time. We normally had break periods which are another period of playing individually and as a group. Such plays include skipping rope, jumping jack, cultural group dance, football, and so on. Once school is over, my sister and I go back to the house, eat the food prepared by our mum, complete our homework, and immediately go out to play. We typically had playmates who were in the same age brackets as us.
Sometimes, when I look at my children, I want to imagine how they will see their childhood experiences in the future. Will it be something special in their life? They have their playing times, and everything is almost prepared for them. Unlike my childhood experience, they use school buses and cars to school. They have access to lots of cartoon stations and lots of toys to play with. They come downstairs to play with their fellow children and have fun.
I understand that childhood experiences play a big role in the life of the child. There is little or no worry about the exigencies of life. You will think everything is possible as a child. However, as one gets older, one will start seeing the world differently. I missed my childhood stages!