It's NaBloMoPo, Day 6, and Julia's prompt is:
'when you were 8(ish), what did you want to be when you grew up?'
Rattlerattlerattle of ball into fence behind.
When I was 8, I was learning to play tennis.
The sound of ball being expelled from machine
and propelled across net at Biggera Primary School courts.
Hand-eye, footwork, learning to co-ordinate.
That wonderful sound when the ball was struck true,
hitting the sweet spot.
A lone kookaburra in a nearby tree laughing when I missed.
At eight, there were two career paths looming:
I was going to be a tennis player, and I was already
beginning a school-girl crush on Chrissy Evert.
Either that, or I'd become Prime Minister of Australia -
I'd already sent a letter to the current incumbent in Canberra, thanks to an imaginative Aunty who was quite happy to instil a sense of political awareness into my young mind.
And yes, I received a reply from Parliament House, in a most official-looking envelope -
not from the PM himself, but his Principal Personal Secretary.
I was mightily impressed by the title and capital letters.
I played tennis for years - on the school team, and later, club tennis.
It's been years since I picked up a racquet - and I'm a bit horrified
with the thought of just how rusty that particular skill is by now.
I also didn't manage to become PM of Australia - but I suspect it
helps if you live there, and I haven't for nearly 24 years now.
Although, as I recall, the other 8yr old yearning was to live in Narnia and
hang out with fauns...
Tennis, politics, and becoming a Narnian aside,
these days I'm mostly content with the adventures I've had
both in and out of wardrobes/closets, travels on the way, and ending up
being and doing something I'd never anticipated at all when I was 8.
Life has not been dull, and while there have been hard parts,
there's been quite a lot of laughter. I'll take that as a win.