Friday, December 20, 2013

Of Newspapers and Nutcrackers

I've slacked off on answering this question because I didn't have a really good answer. I wasn't exactly a carefree child. I was a worrier, an overthinker, a perfectionist. I remember feeling frustrated a lot that I wasn't taken seriously because I was a little kid. I remember having my feathers ruffled on many occasions because some adult laughed when I used big words. I clearly don't miss any of that.

But then on Sunday, a couple of friends and I took our friend's children to see the Ithaca Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. And it reminded me of what was great about being a little girl.

First of all, hats off to Annie and Charlotte for their behavior. They were quiet, rapt, and paid attention to what was going on on-stage. Very impressive for a four and five-year-old. Annie climbed into my lap to take advantage of my aisle seat's choice view. Sitting there, with her head leaned back on my shoulder, I saw the show through her eyes, seeing the spectacle of costumes and sets and fake snow dropping from up above for the first time. When she gasped at the entrance of the Mouse King, I did too. And she made up stories about what was happening on stage when, frankly, all the 'hail fellow well met' night before Christmas formal party dancing got a little boring.

It reminded me of the best part of being a little girl, at least for me: the freedom to visit whatever strange places your head takes you to, to lose yourself in an imaginary world of your creation and not have any hesitancy about what other people might think. 

My cousin recently found some letters I had sent her (we had quite the correspondence going on back in the early 80s), including my first (and I believe only) issue of the Vegetable News. I think I've mentioned before
here that I had a thing for vegetables when I was kid. I thought they were hysterical and was always writing stories and plays starring them (Okrahoma! never made it past a concept, unfortunately.) Apparently, I also thought they were newsworthy.

I also had sage advice to offer:
I really do not know what I was talking about regarding the "beepers" that get "installed in your ear." Or I could see the future and failed to take full advantage of my prescience regarding bluetooth headsets.

I also showed an appalling lack of understanding of genetics:

(Or I was inappropriately inspired by Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear playing "twin" crack reporters in The Great Muppet Caper.)

I apparently watched the sh!t out of the '84 Olympics as well. And a lot of episodes of "Alice."

But I didn't care. I wasn't writing for any audience other than my cousin. I gave no consideration to what anyone else would think. It amused me, I thought it would entertain her, nothing else mattered.

I miss that kind of simplicity.

And writing about vegetables. I should get back into that.