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Forever Child

Updated on May 2, 2011
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I think I will be found out one day. I don't know when it will happen, but I'm sure that it will, because it's glaringly obvious that I am a child in an adult's body. Sooner or later someone important will be informed and I will be removed from my children, who I am not responsible enough to take care of, and I will be taken to a place where I can finally be made to grow up.

Oh, wouldn't that be awful though? Of course, I would resist; I would go kicking and screaming to the place where childhood is taken away. I have never seen it, but I have heard about it from someone who knows. It's a tall concrete building with tiny windows that don't let in enough light. Inside there are floor upon floor of square rooms, corridors and corridors, partitions and partitions. When you first go there you are sent to the top floor, where there are no windows at all; you have a small shiny room to yourself, and you are not allowed to talk to any of the other people there whom you might meet on your way to the bathroom or the water cooler, or the photocopier. You are given a meaningless job to do, which involves typing and printing, typing and printing for eight hours, and then filing away the printings at the end of the day in the filing cabinets that line one wall of your room. You sleep in your own little office - there's a fold out bed. If you behave yourself you are moved to a much larger open-plan room, which you share with some other people who are showing some signs of maturity. You move through the building as you complete various stages of the growing up process, and are finally allowed out when you can prove that you have truly lost the urge to cartwheel at the sight of a grassy field

I do not know many people who have had to go for a stint at the place where childhood is taken away. Many of my friends seemed to manage to grow up on their own. One or two have been through the system, and supposedly came out all matured and sensible. But I can see that it's possible to cheat the system, because those couple of friends are just as silly as they ever were before they went in. So I am eased in my mind by that, and am hopeful that if I do have to do time in the block I will come out the other side having retained my Peter Pannishness.

The eyes will be the test. Lots of people have probably been credited with calling the eyes the windows to the soul, but whoever said it first, I agree to some extent - though I do not believe in a soul as a separatable entity - for when you look into a person's eyes you can see how old their personality is. I have lots of friends who are a good bit older than I am physically; but if you were to look into our eyes when we are together you would very plainly see that we are all the same age: seven. We are not sixteen, though we may often say that we still feel that age. But no, sixteen knows too much. Seven is right, because seven can still play properly, but also has the ability to reason and discuss, and debrief about a busy day's play. Seven can draw accurate representations of stories, and seven has confidence to show its creations. Seven is wonderful and that is where me and my Lost Boy friends have chosen to stay. We look in the mirror sometimes, and are not completely naïve, we see that our skin is not as smooth as it was, that we are sagging and greying. But really, what does that matter, when in our eyes we can still see seven?

Sometimes I worry that it has gone, my childhood. When I have no patience with my own children I feel like an adult, and it does not agree with me at all and I do not recognise myself; then I worry that I might have accidentally become a grown woman. A good night's sleep after a bath and a bedtime story usually cures me of that kind of melancholy though, and I am a girl again the next morning.

Me and my Lost Boys (I'm Peter - yes, I know Peter's a boy, but it's my game, so I can be who I like!)
Me and my Lost Boys (I'm Peter - yes, I know Peter's a boy, but it's my game, so I can be who I like!)

What to do if you find yourself growing up:

  1. Paint your face and go out in public.
  2. Climb a tree. Never fails to make me feel seven again. Of course, if you're not physically able to do this any longer, then enjoy a memory of when you could. Whatever you do though, do not go into parks and watch strangers' children climb trees - your intentions might be misunderstood.
  3. Put every grown up thing away from you for a few hours and let your children (or grandchildren, or nephews or nieces) dictate what happens for the rest of the day.
  4. Get some of your toys out and play, even if there's no-one else in the house to play with - if you are a true forever child, like me, you will still have toys no matter what your physical age is.  Talking to oneself, and to one's toys is a sure way to find that inner Peter.
  5. Make sure you do not entertain any thoughts of domestic activity - children do not clean the house.

It's possible that someone may inform on you, and that you will have to do some time in the block, but do not give in. Together we can fight the oppressive forces of adulthood, which would have us all serious and responsible.

Are you a forever child?


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    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Hi there.

      Since I dont have any children, it is hard to answer absolutely accurately, so I only scored 60%.

      I do talk to myself, but that is more likely to be because I am, more a demented fool, than a child.

      Thanks for the fun Hub.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      What a wonderful hub and so inspiring..Thank you for reminding us to look at the world as a child. I pray I never lose the child inside..being silly and having fun is part of life that keeps us young at heart. Truly beautiful.. Up and awesome.

      Sunnie

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      For those that can maintain their inner child, life seems more joyous. Just an observation.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      I'm still laughing, but I do feel like a child most of the time, and what's worse, my kids know it

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Love this! I have a Grandpa who always seemed like a child to me, and I admired him so much for it. Thanks for the reminder! It's easy to find yourself losing that young self, and that's a bit of a shame!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thank you Chris, Sunnie, mckbirdbks, Luis and prairieprincess :) Just a daft little hub that I've been mulling over for a bit. Glad you all found it fun.

      Linda.

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      My hubs answer this question perfectly, i'm with you all the way so lets get the water pistols out and fight it out buster. You might be daft but im dafterer. Nice hub though, different and thought provoking. Cheers

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Linda I really enjoyed reading your hub. Who really wants to leave childhood behind and become an adult. How boring :)

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Hello Keith and Susan. I just went to the shop to buy water bombs to play with the kids after school :D The lady at the shop thought I was crazy when I looked all excited over my little purchase!

      Thanks you two :)

      Linda.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I feel as if I had been nailed to the floor. There are so many things I would have loved to have said "Yes" to, but old farts can't do some of those things.

      But leave me alone with a Teddy Bear (Pooh, of course) and I'll chat for hours.

      Only last night I was having an in-depth conversation with Fatima, the toy dog... and she chatted right back.

      And she smiled when I got silly.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Well, no-one said we all have to be the same kind of child :) I'm just the tree climbing sort (but I never was when I was an actual child!), and have never owned a teddy bear that I could be friends with. I feel sad about that, but am very happy that my boys have teddies whom they love dearly - Matthew has very long conversations with his friends at bedtime, and his big brothers are shouting at him to shut up and go to sleep!

      I have a Pooh that I bought when I was 19 - bought it myself when I was in New York :)

      I also now have a crocheted princess called Lily - my good friend gave her to me when I was 33 :D She sits on my desk, and I do actually talk to her when I'm writing. I run plot lines past her and she tells me when they're awful.

      You wrote the F**t word on my hub thread!!! I can't say that word - I have never once said it in my whole life! I can't even type it.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Sorry, Linda, about the Fxxt word. It has connotations that I thought were somewhat innocuous. Maybe down south in the wilds of rural Surrey (Yeah! Right!) they are more acceptable. There is a whole wing at Twilight Lawns plc inhabited almost exclusively by such types; retired British Indian Army majors and the odd M.P. who has been put up for the Chiltern Hundreds.

      I can't imagine a life spent as an adult. I'm not going to start now. In fact, look at my profile, and you will see me in deep conversation with Pooh, and I haven't left off since.

      He sits on a little Victorian boudoir chair in my bedroom, and has been known, once or twice, to tell me to shut up because I chat to him when he's trying to settle down for the night.

      I've said it before, but here goes again: Your boys are so lucky to have a mother like you.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I have visited the Twilight Lawns website, and I hope that I will be have made myself worthy of a place there when it comes time for me to retire in style and comfort. I must say that it does seem like just my kind of place. I still don't think I'll be able to use the F word though - will that be alright?

      I'm glad to know that it is acceptable to never grow up - if you're not going to bother, then there's no need for me to worry that I might be forced to. I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

      I'm going to start talking to Pooh, and see if I can get to know him a bit better. I've never understood the teddy bear thing, but if I was ever going to get to know a bear, Pooh would be the one, I'm sure. I've always loved to read about his adventures though, of course - his book is my oldest and most crumpled and dog-eared, I'm very proud to say :)

      Thank you tremendously Ian, for saying that my boys are lucky to have me. I'm not sure if they'd agree with you on school mornings, but I do know that I'm lucky to have them :)

      Lx.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I'm about to be a dad in a few days time. There are more responsibilities to face. But It does not mean I need to "grow up" just yet. There are a lot of things we miss when we forget to be like children. Of course there are other important stuff in life like new responsibilities, but every now and then, it's just nice to let go and have fun.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      It's all for nothing if no fun is being had :)

      Hope everything goes perfectly when your new baby arrives! How wonderful :)

      Nice to meet you, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Linda.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Dear Lady Words-Worth,

      One has received your application and most of it seems to be in order. There was one small thing, however:

      In the box "Do you bank with Coutts and Co (Bankers to the Gentry) Wealth Management & Private Banking"? you appear to have ticked neither YES nor NO.

      One hopes that you do have private funds (Old Money, of course) or are banking with one of the Nicer Banks, preferably Off Shore.

      Your most obedient servant,

      Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Dear Matron Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh,

      Pardon me for that oversight. I do indeed have private funds, and my ancestry is traceable as far back as 1325, to Sir Thomas Rawlibobs of Lancaster, the highly influential merchant seaman and part-time explorer (his portrait hangs in the city museum, at the top of the main staircase - he's the one wearing an expression of smackable smugness). Most of the money was gambled and drunk away by Old Tom's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson Amos Rawlibobs - a black stain on the family name. Fortunately Amos's wife - Agnes - had the foresight to save some of the piles of cash before Amos's creditors got hold of it, and she placed it in a secret vault in London. The money was thought to be lost for a few centuries, but the location has been passed down to me just recently, along with documents to prove that I am the sole beneficiary of the contents. I have not yet been able to make the trip to the capital, but I am confident that there will still be sufficient funds left in the vault to allow me to enjoy a long and comfortable stay in your excellent establishment - Agnes was a very large women, and legend has it that she sewed secret pockets into her petticoats into which she stuffed many bulging money bags before her trip to London.

      I hope that this information is sufficient. If you require further embellished tales of my ancestry, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

      Yours with sincere sincerity,

      Lady Wordsmith-Wordsworthington

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Dear lady Wordsmith-Worthington,

      You are precisely the sort person one would love to have at "The Lawns" as out more intimate friends like to refer to our Little Corner of Heaven on Earth.

      The next time you are in South Ken, Knightsbridge and closely surrounding areas (That's what you mean when you say, "London" one should imagine) do pop down to Norbury-sur-Mar, or we could meet at the Ritz or the Savot for tea and a chat.

      But when you are here in that sort of area, my dear, please watch out for that naughty little David and Nicholas. They've been naughty little boys, and one wouldn't put it past them to relieve you of a good deal of your cash.

      That ghastly George Osborne seems have turned their sweet little heads. I told little David's mummy that I was very cross with him when last I saw her.

      Hilda P-F

    • profile image

      Aka Professor M 6 years ago

      Linda this was a very well laid out plan of action for those who forgotten their inner child. Being able to connect with the young keeps us young at heart.

      The older we attempt to be should always be tempered with a quick return to those times, when we simply enjoyed being free to dream and like the Man of La Mancha dare to Dream the Impossible Dream!

      I voted this up and highly recommend it as compulsory reading for writers of all ages, Lady Wordsmith.

      Regards Mike (Aka Professor M!) ;D

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      I love this hub...I got 90% on the quiz! I guess I'm a child at heart...can't help it. You could probably tell from my far-fetched hubs! :) Thanks for this...it made me smile.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Well, I never doubted for a moment that you would be anything other than a true Forever Child Kitty :D Well done!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Matron,

      I had a letter from David and Nicholas - I think they're onto me, and I was horrified when I read between the lines and realised that they know the location of my secret vault! I'm off to Town immediately to transfer the funds to a secret Swiss account before the naughty little boys can get hold of it! They'll not have it I tell you, they'll not have it.

      Lady W-W.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Professor :) Thank you for that glowing praise of my little hub, which I appreciate as always. Just this afternoon I went out to play with my youngest son, and we both hared around a play barn like a couple of Tasmanian devils! Exhausting, but energising at the same time :)

      But I must extend apologies for not managing to find time for HubPages at the moment. I have just this week begun an excellent correspondence course in proofreading, and it is likely to take up much of my time over the next few months. I think I must hub about it - that way everyone will know why I'm being ignorant!

      Linda.

    • profile image

      Aka Professor M 6 years ago

      An excellent Topic for A Hub or even a series of them. Such will surely invite your readers to join in a lively discussion. I will look forward to your presentation of a topic near and dear to myself on TPWS! Good Luck, Have fun and be Well, Lady Wordsmith!

      Regards From Mike (Aka Professor M!) ;D

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I was tempted to launch right in and write a hub on the topic immediately, but I wanted to do it justice, and I wanted to allow myself time to find out what this whole new wonderful world of publishing is all about. But hubs will appear soon - possibly a whole hub to the humble comma, imagine that! And an essay for TWPS, certainly, I'd be pleased to do that!

      Proofreading suits me perfectly - it's the neatly stacked piles of paper, and the beautifully aligned coloured pens that do it for me!

      Lx.

    • profile image

      Aka Professor M 6 years ago

      You Know my standards for TPWS input and I rule there with an Iron Fist! LOL!

      I engage my readers with material which will educate , enlighten and entertain so that we all enjoy the experience that is writing!

      Thanks for thinking about TPWS and let me know when you have something ready!

      Regards Mike!(Aka Professor M!) ;D

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Will do, sir :) Once I've submitted my first assignment (it's going all the way down to London, don't ya know!) I have four weeks before I receive it back - plenty of time to write about the first week of the experience. The rules of the course are that you are not allowed to carry on with the second assignment until you have the first one back - to ensure that you are not cementing bad habits.

      As for TPWS, I wonder whether it might be better to wait until the course is finished, and then write about it from the other end of the process, when I can look back at it as a whole. I think that will be better.

      Mmm, things to mull over - thanks Prof :)

      Linda.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Lady W-W, we're all behind you, my dear. While there is a person in this sceptred isle who knows the difference between a claret glass and a sherry glass; while there's a woman or a man who refuses to say serviette or toilet; while there's a family which can trace its lineage back to Alfred the |Great; while there's a name that has at least one hyphen, we know that we shall overcome.

      May the Power and Saint Setrag, Patron Saint of the Posh and Phalaenopsis Orchids be with you.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      And also with you.

      I know you don't like to LOL, Ian, but I am LMAO!!! I could hear 'Jerusalem' in my head as I was reading your comment, and I felt a powerful urge to stand and gaze into the middle distance with a glint in my eye and pride in my heart. Never fear Ian, I know the correct glasses to use, and you will never catch me asking for anything other than a napkin when I have dribbled my sherry down my chin. We SHALL overcome.

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 6 years ago

      Great hub! I am a child at heart I definitely forget my age sometimes. It is sad to know that time goes so fast so here is gone before we know it. I enjoyed the pictures that you have included. Keep up the great work!

      rorshak sobchak

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thank you Rorshak. It's good to know how many people are really children at heart :) I'm ... heartened!

      Linda.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Brilliant comment, Linda. Mrs Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh has mentioned you is despatches and has informed me that if at any time you are at a loose end in Plantagenet-sur-la-Plage or even Norbury-sur-Mer, you will be most welcome to partake of a Waterford two thirds full of Amontillado (or two).

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Oh, I have arrived at the pinnacle of my career I think - it doesn't get better than being invited to partake of a special tipple with Mrs P-F :)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Mrs P-F has asked me whether you ever finished your hub on Limericks. I was looking forward to it so much... I didn't miss it. did I?

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Limericks-and-me

      This one? You commented in this one, which makes me wonder whether I promised a fresh limerical hub - did I?

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Yes, I remember this one, and I liked it a lot, but I had a feeling you were going to delve even deeper (or deeperer, if necessary).

      Am I deranged, or did I get it into my head that you were going to collect Limericks and... maybe I am (deranged).

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      No, you're not deranged ... well, maybe you are, but not in terms of your belief that I was going to collect limericks. Actually, maybe I'm deranged, because I thought that I had said that I was going to collect them, but now, when I think about it, I don't think I did say anything of the sort. Well, whether I said it or not, it's a nice idea, and I think I will. I have a book that I keep my own in - it could be joined by others.

      A fresh limerical hub then, it's on the list ... I'll do more thinking on that.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I have one that I am dying to give you, but if I post it here the Hub Police will not let you use it in a hub. I wroted it myself.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Send it to me in a message - it might inspire me to get that new hub written. I'm very into hubbing this week, and have six at various stages of completion just now :)

      Send the limerick, send it - you've piqued my interest with your intriguing comment!

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