A Kind Little Boy

I have been pondering recently over the origins of what makes me the man I am today.

In the 1960’s when I was born and raised I have very little memory of those early years and I am curious about what I was like as a pre-school child.

Last week, I had a few moments with my elderly parents on a visit to see them and after discussing a variety of topics, I suddenly asked them what I was like as a child.

My mother immediately said you were very caring and loving.

My father said “You was a very a kind little boy”

“How can a three year old be kind?” I asked

My mother said you cared deeply for your younger brother and you took responsibility for him which you wanted to do, but I certainly did not expect you to do.

The conversation turned slightly defensive.

There was one occasion, my mother said, when a man came over to her to say what a lovely little boy I was, after he had observed me looking after my little sister – so I would be aged about five of six at that time.

My mother said, he is a kind little boy, but I must assure you that he is not responsible for his sister, I have been watching them throughout the whole period.

My mother said, I didn’t want him to think you were somehow taking on the responsibilities of a parent, but you just was a very kind a sharing child  – it was just inherent in your nature.

My father said, you liked to run on ahead when you had space to do that – on the promenade or in the park.

On one occasion, he said, you were running aged about four directly towards a lake which I knew you had not seen.

I set off at a pace to catch you, and reached you just as you entered the water to your waist and tugged you back by the shoulders – this was a story I had heard before, and indeed there is photographic evidence of the event which I have seen – an old photo of me wearing my older brothers underwear and my brother looking less than happy with the turn of events at the side of me.

So, I was a very kind little boy, but I seemed to want time out in front alone in my own thoughts when I had the opportunity for that.

Perhaps the man, I have become is not so different in essence from the origins I displayed as a child, but the trials of life and the suppression of my truth in respect of my sexuality caused me to be angry and frustrated for long periods of my adult life.

I am so glad, I asked them, about the boy I used to be because that very kind little boy is the man I strive to be.

My next blog will be: I Was in Need of Rest

William Defoe


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