inside, i am 9 years old.
Over the years, I’ve added experience, feeling, connection and aside from that mish-moshed era of confusion and anxiety from age 18 till 47, I’ve remained a clear-eyed and enthusiastic nine-year old!
Why bring this up now?
I look at my body, how the skin is aging, my chin is adding layers, my hair is whitening and I wonder at the evidence of life’s days making their mark on this physical form, while my inner child is still wistfully experiencing growth. I relish a deepening understanding of that which occupies my inner and outer space.
I hold a smartphone and open a website and remember back 20 years ago, when i was so determined to make my own websites and to teach pupils how to make theirs. I remember insisting that Special Ed pupils have lessons in the computer lab to learn to type in English, to navigate a computer, to investigate a tool which would expand their horizons.
I remember using art and poetry to open minds, to illustrate mysteries. I can rejoice at the e.e. cummings workshop using so many of the fabulous creative elements I gleaned from my studies at Lesley College. (thank you Lesley for reminding me that school can offer a limitless experience of discovery and ownership). I combed lists of famous people to bring their biographies into our English Center, documenting their lives and accomplishments as inspiration to pupils.
All this, a direct line from my nine-year old’s favourite occupations: reading mythology, biographies, and bringing them to life through puppetry and writing. What I loved has remained what I love. Wanting to share, I still long for avenues to offer from the heart.
That nine-year-old self, before the onslaughts of puberty and questions and waves of emotions that overwhelm the mind, that nine-year-old communicates from a place of innocence and good intentions, hardly tainted by the opinions of others who don’t frequent that unique DNA/experience-nourished mind.
And allow me to offer this: It’s time for a celebration of nine-year-olds everywhere, no matter what their birthdates indicate.
Here’s to our highly respected inner child! Long may s/he thrive!