Releasing the inner child

“It looks like the painting of a five year old. No, it looks like an adult’s interpretation of the painting of a five year old.” Mark tilted his head as he looked on.

“It’s not finished yet, I’m going to outline everything in black pen.”

Mark looked at me with that sideways, “I really can’t say anything, because whatever I say will be wrong,” look.

I knew what I was doing, I knew what I wanted to achieve and as far as I am concerned I have successfully done what I set out to do. I expressed my inner child. That seems such a cliché doesn’t it. Something maybe I should be doing in a room full of strangers wearing nappies and frilly caps, sucking my thumb! Sorry I was distracted, nothing like a bit of talcum powder in the morning to conjure strange images.

My inner child is the person in my head that wasn’t allowed to grow up. Wasn’t allowed to do the things she wanted to and was so depressed by herself that she gave up and hid in the corner. I discovered her about ten years ago. Around the time I decided that being single was cool, living on my own was doable and only I could save myself from loneliness. And just look how that turned out!

I love Mark to the moon and back and then some and when we got together I warned him about all my foibles, introducing him to my inner child at the first opportunity. (Hanging out of the car window on a hot summers day as we drove down the motorway was something I always wanted to do. I won’t mention the singing.) I can now say that I have done it.

I’ve also achieved so many childhood dreams since I became an adult. Horse riding, swimming with Whales, owning strange pets.


I do not recommend allowing children to own exotic pets until they are responsible adults, like me.

The problem was, problems. As a child growing up there were so many, you could say my family was dysfunctional, distorted and destructive, what it actually boiled down to was not being allowed to be a child and do childish things. Well not in my family home anyway.

I had this whacky Aunt, the type of Aunt that every little girl should have. Mad as a box of frogs, artistic and the kindest spirit in the World. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she was a fairy. I would go there and she would open up her paints and just let me get on with it. It took me ages before I had the courage to pick up a brush, she was amazing. When I finally did, I looked at the picture I had created and was very pleased with myself.

I’m glad I never kept that picture. It reflected my life. A boat in a storm. Black and dark and dingy. I put down the paints that summer and I suppose that was the year that the child died and my inner child went deep within. It took forty years to coax her out and it has taken another ten years to recreate the picture my inner child wanted me to create all those years ago. You see now, as an adult I don’t have to fear the darkness, hide in corners or be hidden from view. Now I can express myself however I want.

So, I present to you. The boat. An adult’s version of a five year old’s painting.

I am a success because I have done what I set out to do, I have let my inner child out.


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