I have always been fond of children and go weak at the knees at the very sight of baby clothes! So you can imagine my excitement and glee when my friend, Shakeela recently gave birth to a baby girl. Keera van Vuuren is a healthy and beautiful bundle of joy, and shares features of both her parents – mum, Shakeela and dad, Quinton van Vuuren (pictured).
When I was younger, people used to always tell me to enjoy my days of being a child. When I stressed about school projects or tests, my parents told me that I had more important things coming in life to worry about, like paying accounts and earning a living. When I was 16, I couldn’t wait to be 18. When I was 18, I couldn’t wait to be 21. I always envied girls older than me. They seemed so independent, and I couldn’t wait to be just like them.
These days I find myself giving my younger cousins the same advice I was given when I was their age – to enjoy their days of being at school and to savour the little moments of still being a child. Life zooms past us so quickly that before we know it, we are laden with responsibilities and life-altering choices to make.
Feeling a bit nostalgic recently, I was just thinking how care free it was to be a child. I’d be dropped off at pre-primary, where my days were filled with painting, singing and playing on the jungle gyms. I didn’t have a care in the world – even my clothes were picked out for me everyday! Oh …what days of utter bliss! When I started school, my friends and I collected and swapped stickers during break time, and the most homework I got were colouring in or mini research assignments. Back then, my priorities were those of an average teenage girl. They have since changed and I am now more concerned about my career and interests as an adult woman.
When I am in the company of little children, I’m so intrigued by their inquisitive nature. Having recently spent some time with my three-year-old cousin, Tashil (pictured), I am still so amazed by his alertness to things around him. I’d look at him and wonder what the world looks like through his bright and eager eyes. In some strange way, I envy him. His mind is so pure and innocent and hasn’t yet been ‘brainwashed’ by propaganda portrayed in the media. As young as he is, he is so kind, sweet and considerate to those around him.
I have said time and time again that I wish he could stay the age he is now, because he really is the epitome of innocence. Sadly, as we grow older, our innocence as children is lost and we become immune to the atrocities surrounding us on a daily basis.
I’m so glad that I grew up with things like Bugs Bunny, colouring in books and wax crayons, yoyo’s and of course – the likes of Humpty Dumpty and Little Bo Peep. I was only introduced to computers during Primary school whereas today, children as young as 3 years are able to access and operate cellphones and computers.
There are days when I wish I could still be five – only because life was hassle free back then, and I had no concerns about world wars and the exchange rate. Above all, my mind was pollutant-free of discrimination and hatred. As much as I wish to turn back time, I can’t – but I guess I can always hold on to the fact that with all the problems in the world today, there was once a time when we were all oblivious to evil.
Both my parents are celebrating their birthdays this month, so to end off this month’s column, I’d like to wish the two most important people in my life a very Happy Birthday.