Once I saw a little bird
Flying up up up
Then I said
Will you stop stop stop…
As a child I’d sing that song with all my heart, making gestures at the bird with my fingers while I let my imaginations roam. For some reason, I really really thought I could be that bird… haha, I just assumed there was some sort of glitch preventing me from being the bird at that moment. Assumed? A child had no time for such tedious thought, no patience for such conclusions. I quickly found something to be distracted by – like sand for example. I busied myself with the intense work of making and smashing sand castles. There was enormous time on my hands – and lots of sand! Why waste my time with birds? A mere ant crawling through the dirt was enough to capture my attention. I would crouch and watch its path, and examine their ‘houses’. I dreamt of looking in and seeing what it’s like. You know that cartoon about the boy who was turned ant-sized by a bunch of vengeful ants? Ant Bully. You know children actually believe that? They want to be the boy! I wanted to. I faithfully held on to the belief that I could be abducted by ants if I was in the right place, if I lived among the right people – and it would be a fun adventure!
But I wasn’t the right people. I wasn’t a ‘television person’. Television people supposedly live in the telly and we watch them do fun stuff (Ha! That was the conclusion of my painstaking evaluations to answer the question “where do television people come from?”). I didn’t bother asking my parents because I knew they’d say the same thing – television people live in the very cables, they have minuscule cities in there where they do things like go to dinners… wear nice dresses… by the way the lady at the dinner has a gun concealed under her beautiful black dress and a shootout is about to break out right in that restaurant, after she’s exchanged some sharp words with her partner who’s also an ‘agent’, ‘secret agent’. They also have these strange looking kids with big eyes, sharp features, light skin. The skin color. That didn’t bother me in the least – I felt television people just looked like that. Just like I look a certain way, they look a certain way. Even all the people in my class didn’t look the same. Some had lighter skin, there were different face shapes, different lips… I was even learning to identify people’s tribes from their appearances (the Igbos, Yorubas, Urhobos etc). Now these television people come from a whole different world. Of course they look different! Case solved. But I’ll never be a television person, at least I couldn’t see that happening. You see, at the time I was able to propound this whole theory, I was a little older, some logic was beginning to seep in. I couldn’t see how I could possibly become small enough to enter our television cables, although what a treat that would be! So I resorted to be content with my own life, and just watch them, keeping at the edge of thought the knowledge that such a life is really possible, if I ever I get the chance to become that small.
My favorite episode of Barney was the one where they went to space. Whooaaaa. You know, space travel is prime novelty because stuff that happens in space only happens in space! If only I could meet Barney, I thought. I had everything else I needed for the ship, namely some cardboard and a bit of imagination – that was the recipe he gave. The only thing missing was Barney himself. Oh the deprivation… I wish I could go to America, or The London. You see the progression here? At this time I had bunked the whole cable theory, after I’d overheard some discussion about them being in “America”. There are so many other collectives of a child’s imagination I’d like to tell you about… like me dreaming of flying on a big kite my Dad made, and other things. But there isn’t enough time, and this post would be too long. But remember this one thing, when that bright eyed child in wide eyed wonder throws a cape over his shoulder and says “Look at me Mommy! I can fly!” he really believes it.It’s a magical time for every child, between age 1 and I think 7, no kid should have that taken from them.
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