Peter and I just finished our morning tea. We were enjoying sitting outside in the warm winter-sun, watching a wild dove, who seemed to watch us, while she looked again and again towards a large bush. Was she thinking of building a nest there? We had found birds’ nests in the past in bushes near the front of our house. It was not like this with this bird. She just took off to look around elsewhere.
Our thoughts went to our neighbours, J. and S., who had left early in the morning to go on a holiday to Queensland. J. sometimes comes to talk to us when we’re sitting outside having our cup of tea. Peter says that J. won’t be around today.
So, why do we suddenly talk about the games we played as children? I think we were comparing our different attitudes to being left alone. I say I cannot remember ever having been distressed when I was left to do something by myself or to go to sleep. I had my ‘Kinderzimmer’, where I was often supposed to play on my own. When I was all by myself, I liked to invent people who would talk to me. I totally accepted that not all the time someone could be with me no matter how much I loved to be surrounded by people.
‘Yes’, Peter says, ‘I played with my toys all by myself too. I can imagine your Mum would have been home with you more often than mine because your Mum did not have to go to work, whereas my Mum always went away, and I hated it, when she went away. I did not want her to go away.’
I say: ‘I don’t think, it bothered me, when Mum had to go somewhere without me. But I sure was very happy when I was allowed go on an outing somewhere. And I certainly loved it, when I was allowed to play with other children.’
Many children my age and older lived in the neighbourhood in apartments of five-story high buildings. Our street was very secluded with no traffic to speak of. We would play ball-games in the street. We also played singing games, indeed lots of games with singing or reciting certain verses. It doesn’t take me long, before I start singing songs and reciting verses that went with our games. I am amazed at myself. that I can still remember the melodies and the words quite effortlessly! (If someone asked me to recite something like it on a stage, I probably would not remember a word!)