I have been thinking a lot lately about childhood dreams. Not the dreams one actually had as a child, although for several months I had a recurring dream that someone was coming to steal my little sister, so I was already pretty good at wish-fulfilment, but the things you thought, as a child, would happen when you were a grown-up.
‘I can’t believe how naive I was as a child,’ A friend said to me recently. ‘Yes,’ I agreed.’That must be embarrassing for you.’ Apparently, my friend wanted to talk about the gap between childhood expectations and her current reality. This was quite a long topic, and had several sentences where I did not hear my own name, so I used the time to recall my own childhood dreams.
1. Eat whatever I wanted for breakfast. Done.
2. Get take-away on a school night. Done. (Although this is unlikely to reoccur, as I am unable to correctly judge how much food we will need, so last time spent £50 a head on chinese food. I wish one of my childhood dreams had been to be a billionaire).
3. Have a walk-in wardrobe. This is a work in progress, but I am pretty sure I will soon convince my little sister to sleep on the sofa, and give up her bedroom to the cause.
4. Learn to speak French. This is because whenever my parents wanted to discuss something secret in our presence, they spoke in French. I still very much believe that French is the key to all grown-up power. Has everyone seen what Catherine Deneuve looks like? She’s 70.
5. Marry my Summer camp tennis coach.
‘You’re right,’ I interrupted my friend suddenly. ‘We should be paying more attention to our childhood dreams. I need you to help me locate my Summer camp tennis coach.’ My friend stared at me in confusion. ‘Yes,’ I continued. ‘I don’t remember his name, but he’s 5 years older than us, exceptionally handsome, and great at tennis.’ I smiled happily at my friend. ‘And then he can help me build my walk-in wardrobe.’ My friend was silent, so I added kindly, ‘And after that I can show you how to make the world’s greatest breakfast.’