Growing up I was a quiet kid, didn’t say much, kept myself to myself, but I was surrounded head to toe in love.
some of my earliest memories of recognising love were sitting on my parents’ bed with my mum, my dad just waking from working nights to our dog Bonnie, franticly licking his face. we would take him a cup of tea and I’d watch my mum’s eyes, and in them I saw what real love looked like, it looked shiny and sparkling even in the darkest of rooms, never faltering, never changing, the wrinkles at the corners of her eyes as she smiled over him showed truth. We all smiled back then, or at least all at the same time, in the same place, together. it wouldn’t always be like that, though back then no one would have thought otherwise, not even for a second. no, love was there, and I looked at both my parents with the look my mum gave my dad because it was family love, love that runs in the bloodstream, the kind of love I’d grow up to find you can’t shake off, regardless of how much you try.
At school I started being asked what I loved…what food I loved the most, what cartoons I loved to watch, what I loved to do the most out of school…
Love was everywhere! I loved my friends, I loved doing cartwheels on the hill in summer, I loved my smarties lunch box, I loved my favourite jumper (it had the Teletubbies on it) and I loved chocolate, I loved chocolate very much. Some of these things I’d fall out of love with but chocolate, my love for that stayed strong.
Love as a kid was so easy because love was just a word that described the things we liked the most, I didn’t know the depth of it, the ugly truth of it that adults locked away and my reading skills were not advanced enough to read the small print! I just wish those around me who knew the truth had been brave enough to fill me in on the details, gave me advice, preparation for the real world and for the true meaning of love.