105 days… and counting…

Whilst growing up in Shropshire, one of my greatest pleasures was walking through woods breaking sticks. This usually involved hitting them against things, such as trees, so that the bit that broke off would go flying in a random direction, said direction often being towards mine or someone else’s head… but hey, you’ve gotta take some risks in life, right? This particular childish pleasure recently came back to me, as I walked along a nearby country path, which was strewn with sticks and twigs of various sizes, which were the fallout of the recent storms. I had the almost overwhelming urge to pick up a stick and thwack it against something. Almost overwhelming. This urge was curtailed by thoughts of a grown-up nature along the lines of…

Don’t be so destructive

Don’t draw attention to yourself

…and suchlike. I mean, I didn’t think these actual words, but the essence was there.

This recollection now leads me to wonder… when did I stop wanting to hit things with sticks? Or rather, when did I stop allowing myself to fulfil the desire to hit things with sticks, to break sticks, and to risk having the bits thwack myself or a nearby unsuspecting personage on the head? I suppose I could say I now have a stronger conscience… I am aware of how much pain a flying bit of wood can cause a person, and – oddly enough – I don’t want to be responsible for inflicting that pain on others… or for that matter, on myself (does one fear this kind of physical pain less as a child?). That’s not to say, by the way, that I ever recall causing an injury to a passing stranger, by way of my stick-breaking antics, but I think as an adult, one is perhaps more aware of the potential consequences of one’s actions… at least it feels like this is the case…

So like I said, it could be a matter of conscience… or it could be a matter of consciousness. By which I mean to say, a greater self-awareness. Not wanting to be seen to be doing something that is not socially acceptable. As an adult, I think it would be fair to say that running (or even walking) around hitting things with sticks is not generally perceived as being a socially acceptable activity. It is not what grown-ups do. But what about grown-ups with kids? What about dads?

For too long now, this urge has lain unfulfilled… For too long, I have seen a stick, passed by that stick, and the stick has remained intact, unbroken, perhaps merely gently kicked or trodden upon, inciting a tiny secret smile if/when it breaks, as I then continue on my way to responsibility, self-awareness and adultness. Too long have I been denied these simple childish pleasures, for fear of being seen as… well… childish…

Well no more! Time to update the list…

Things to Look Forward to About Being a Dad… Category: Reliving My Own Childhood…

#96 (or thereabouts)… Breaking Sticks…

🙂

 

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