THINGS FROM MY CHILDHOOD I WANT BACK| KENYA, AFRICA
Childhood is one of the most important phases in the life of humans. It shapes an individual.
A child is the most innocent human being on earth. We have heard before that bad and good people are not born, they are made. A new born is neutral. They do not know what is good and what is bad. So, parents and the society at large have a great role to play in the life of a child. If a child sees you fight they will catch that really fast and it stays in their head. I guess that is why most of the vivid memories I have are from my childhood.
Here are things I want back from my childhood.
1. FREEDOM FROM RESPONSIBILITIES
If I knew how much responsibilities can draw you away from friends and family, then I would stay young. I miss having just the responsibility of taking care of my personal stuff because even taking care of me was not my responsibility. When I grew up and continue to grow, I just end up realizing more how much of a responsibility I am. And I have no kids yet.
Life was so simple in my childhood. I did not have to worry about what I ate, what I drank, where I slept, clothes, fees, medical bills or buying anything. But as much as I would want that part of my childhood back, I am glad that I grew up. I realize now how much my parents had to sacrifice and I feel like they need a break. And for that reason, I appreciate the growth because it is my turn to give back, as much as I do not want the responsibility.
2. GOOD GENUINE FRIENDSHIPS
Don’t we all miss those genuine childhood relationships when we were honest about how we felt. I miss when we did not have to fake liking anyone. A child is the most brutally honest human and they tell it as it is. Fair enough, brutal honesty bruises egos and hurts feelings. But for me, I would have it no other way.Personally, I prefer total honesty over someone who lies in the name of protection. I miss when we used to share things with our friends without expecting anything in return and hanging out with just those that I liked. I miss when we did not care about how much we had in the bank, how much we got paid, the phones we had, where we shopped, where we went for vacation or our net worth.
What was childhood back then without games? I miss playing football with a total of four players. We normally had our own group and our football games had just one rule which was get the ball past the goal keeper. We had no goal post and once your hope for scoring was gone, you were allowed to be creative. Most of the times, we would just collect the ball and run with it towards the goal. It was like a combination of rugby and football. Any new members made the game less fun and as mentioned in the previous article(click here to read), this would upset me.
Apart from our weird football-rugby, we used to play acting games like family, cook in cans, make tiny houses, play hide and seek, climb trees, make tiny saw dust furniture, ,mold and play dodge ball. We also used to do gymnastics at the back of my dad’s lorry which had rails. There was this particular exercise where we would climb to the very top and try landing to the ground without making a noise. I now like how things that make me want to run away made me excited back then.
There was also this game where you had to run and hide to not be tapped or hit. if you got hit then you would be the one looking for who to transfer the hit to. I do not remember the name of the game but it was fun. We also used to dress up in mom’s or our older sisters clothes and pretend we were them. There was also this session where we used to tell each other stories which most of the time were from movies, television shows, imagination or what we heard from other people.
The naivety of a child is most of the times adorable. I miss being able to easily believe what anyone told me. As a child, you lack the ability to mistrust or doubt anyone and that is why it was easy making friends and staying friends with someone. Lying never comes easy for a child unless they are afraid of being punished. These lies most of the times involve petty mistakes like stealing sugar, eating bread when you are not supposed to, watching TV during homework time etc. And they are lies that you easily get busted for.
I miss when we would use silt to make a line across the road because someone had told us that this made horses come to that road. I do not even understand how that came about. But somehow sometimes it worked. But not because of the silt. There were these horses that used to be taken out for walks or for runs in the early morning or in the evening and we would see them on our way to or from school. This usually made me wish to have a ranch when I grew up. We used to visit the horse farm when in school to learn about hay and silage.
5. CHURCH ACTIVITIES
There was a time my sister and I used to cry if we had to miss church.The four of us(our two friends inclusive) used to love going to church every Sunday and sometimes on Saturdays. One of the things that contributed highly to the love for church was the fun involved. Personally, I have always loved entertaining since childhood. Church and school always gave us the opportunity to express ourselves. I participated in plays, dances, choral verses recital, singing, scouts and solo verses.
I sometimes went for church elder meetings to present my solo verses. To me, this was fun. Click here for this article. We, as a church, participated in inter-church competitions and we won several trophies.
Apart from the above, We used to visit children homes, have Christmas treats at church, have church movie days, have church games , attend seminars and go to camping trips.
We did not travel as often as kids. But, the few times we traveled were the most fun filled travel adventures. I particularly loved game drives and watching horse polo. Most of the trips from my childhood were thanks to our church. It was fun hanging out with other kids and my friends. Family trips were also great though one of my sisters was not such a fan of traveling.
I personally liked discovering the world and the whole idea of traveling to new places always gave me goosebumps. It still does anyway. During our adventures, mom would make us get photos. She was particular with how we would pose, with who and where. Let me quickly mention that adventure was one of my favorite words in upper primary and I learnt the word from a story called ‘The Adventures of a Frog.’ I wish I get an opportunity in the near future to watch horse polo especially with dad, or the whole family including one of my aunties.
Other places we visited apart from national parks and game reserves were museums, dense forests and ranches. Any unmentioned place was visiting cousins which was rare.
7. WALKING BAREFOOT
If you did not like walking barefoot then you were born an adult. There was something about having shoes and choosing to walk without them on. I do not know why it was a thing because your feet were prone to getting hurt but it worked for us. Maybe it was because we wanted to get to the playing field as fast as we could and also get back to the house fast enough if we were playing during study hours. Mind you, we had a very large playing field.
8. ACTUAL INTERACTIONS AND CONNECTIONS
I miss meeting people face to face and talking to them. Back then when we did not have phones as kids and TV time was limited because we were using solar energy. Those were the times when the neighbors’ kids came home sometimes to play and hang out. I miss when a family get-together meant something because people actually talked to one another. Nowadays people are so bent on phone conversations but can not have long hearty conversations in person.
I miss when photography was left to one person. Now everyone wants to take photos of everything and the sad thing is even in funerals, people want to take photos of their tears. Why can’t everyone just put their phones down and enjoy certain moments? I feel like at my special events, phones will strictly be forbidden. Unless if it is a business launch of course.
9. HEALTHY COMPETITION AGAINST PEERS
I hate it when nowadays everything is a competition. Social media has made everything a whole lot worse too. My childhood competitions were healthy. Those included sports, studies, Math club, debate or inter-school or inter-church competitions.
Nowadays, a 19 year old is trying to compete with a 30 year old yet they have had different opportunities and experiences. That is why there are so many vices today because most of the competitions are toxic. Your only major competition is you. Again, we have social media to thank(sarcasm intended).
10. FAMILY TIME
If there is a time that I would wish back, it would be spending time with my parents and sisters. This is way before my sisters were married. God! I miss how they made food and how fun it was seeing them and spending time with them daily. They are the best sisters in the world and I would never ask for any other sisters. I still miss them dressing my sister and I so that we are easily confused since we look almost alike. Are we twins? Ask me tomorrow.
I miss having fun with all of them on a daily. It was always fun seeing mom teach us how to dance or recite verses in school or church. Dad on the other hand had a fun dancing style that he told us was from his youth years. Let me stop here before I start getting in my feelings yet there is no Drake to sing me a song.
Christmas in my childhood was the best. There was always a real Christmas tree in a pot with soil. The tree was mostly decorated using ribbons, sweets, biscuits and balloons. I miss when we used to go buy lottery balloons. Back then when Chapati and chicken or a whole mbuzi, or better yet a entire bull was part of Christmas. Without these things, a nice outfit and family, Christmas was never really Christmas. What do you miss from your childhood Christmas?
Who else misses being able to run around the entire day without feeling like you ran across earth. I remember there was a time my sister and I begged our parents to give us a small piece of land because we wanted to farm. They of course did and we started working on the land using two small jembes.
We would wake up in the morning, have breakfast, wear something that would not be hard to clean, get into our mud boots and head to our new land. We did our best even if I almost drove my jembe right through my sister’s skull. Of course this was the last time mum let us use jembes for a long time. But we always participated in planting, watering and selling. Our parents did reward us for the hard work too.
Nowadays I can’t even jump without feeling like I raced a calf and simple tasks like grocery shopping get me tired before I even start. But fact is that any shopping that does not involve the kitchen never wears me down. That is Gikomba, Gakoromone and Toi Market inclusive.
13. FIRST EXPERIENCES
I miss experiencing things for the first time. Seeing wildlife for the first time, going to town on my own, first day at school, first time in a matatu, first time in Nairobi etc. The beauty of first experiences is that you have a choice to keep having them. For example, I want this year to be the year I get my first live TV interview or the first time I fly to Europe.
What childhood things do you miss? If you had one wish to get back something, what would it be? For me, it would be all my sisters and I together with mom and dad celebrating this and all other Christmases together. The real Christmas tree must be present.
PS: I tried using classier English words for the games since the Kimeru version of any games mentioned is very funny. Feel free to comment when you figure them out.