I cringed when my counsellor said “right, for homework I want you to write a story about a brilliant / fun day out for you as a 9-year-old”. To be fair I have cringed every time she has set me homework. She went on to explain “it can be anything, a trip to Disney World. Just make it up”.
For days I sat, pen in hand, blank page in front of me. I just hit dead end after dead end. I hate failure, yet this task was destined to fail. I don’t know what a great day out for 47-year-old me would be, how on earth can I know what 9-year-old me would enjoy?!
Who would I choose to spend the day with?
First, I thought about who I would spend the day with, because that’s the most important factor in having a good day out, right? Only two people sprang to my mind, my nan and my brother. As a child I was incredibly close to my nan, I saw her every day. She would take me on coach trips to the coast, just the two of us. As I child I spent a lot of time with my brother, playing out in the street, out on our bikes. There was less than 2 years between us in age and we always got on well.
Thinking about this, just mad me feel incredibly sad. How could I contemplate a nice day out, with either of the two people I had loved the most, when they were no longer around? Quite simply I couldn’t!
A birthday party!
I never had a birthday party as a child, I thought this might be a brilliant fun day for a 9-year-old. Yep, another dead end. Who would I have invited when I never had any friends at that age? I couldn’t get past this hurdle. Couldn’t imagine enjoying a party thrown in my honour. Instead I recalled when I went to a birthday party when I was around this age. It was a girl called Nicolas party. On the day I didn’t want to go, but my dad took me anyway. I tried everything to get out of going in, I shut my hand in the car door getting out. Crying I tried to use this as an excuse, alas it didn’t work. My dad insisted I go to the party.
I must have appeared to be a difficult child, I refused to talk to anyone, refused to join in the game. Just sat crying. I think I am still viewed in a similar fashion, as the person who can ruin anything. That person who sucks the fun out of everything.
No, I don’t think a party is a good idea. For the first time, I had to go back to my counsellor without completing my homework. It made me feel very uncomfortable, like I just hadn’t put any effort in. I had spent many an hour thinking about what 9-year-old me would have enjoyed, but the fact is I have absolutely no idea!