Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

The fearlessness that comes with being a child

After 10 childless years of marriage, I’m still not sure that I want to have a kid, but I welcome the chance to “be” a kid any day.

A few days ago I was invited to a baby shower hosted by a cousin of mine at her house for a mutual friend. It was a lovely pink-themed affair in anticipation of the soon-to-be-born baby girl. As expected, I was the only one there not on child number two or three. In fact, I had yet to get started with even child number one. Of course, that brought on many discussions about what I’m missing out on, what a joy kids are and all sorts of things I’ve learnt in my 10 childless years of marriage to smile and vacantly nod at while letting them go in one ear and straight out the other.

While nothing that was said at the shower made me rethink my decision to not have a child, several things happened that made me think about wanting to “be” a child. Well, not technically “be” a child, but to possess some of their superpowers.

Brutal honesty, for instance.

My three nieces – ranging in age from 2 to 10 – normally run out to the lift to greet me whenever I visit. Baby shower day was no different. Within five seconds of me stepping out of the lift and being engulfed in a group hug, the 8-year-old announced that I was most certainly overdressed. And surely, I walked into a party where the dress code was decidedly more casual than what I was wearing. Oh well.

With this brutal honesty comes amazing confidence.

All the while I was in the living room chatting to the adults, the same 8-year-old kept trying to drag me to her room so she could show me a special dance routine she and her best friend from downstairs had ­choreographed.

“Please, please, please come see our dance!” she pleaded for the hundredth time as I tried to finish a conversation.

“We changed our whole routine for you. We’ve made it especially for you,” reasoned her tiny best friend.

Now I really had to go and see what they had put ­together.

“See?” said the best friend to my niece. “This is how you propose something. Not by begging!”

In the girls’ room, I witnessed a marvellously confident medley of ballroom dancing, hip-hop and a lot of randomly made-up stuff.

They didn’t even care what I thought of their dance, because they believed it could have been nothing less than stunning. I wish I had that kind of confidence – and their brand of fearlessness.

There is a lot of jumping off the top bunk of the bed. They do it with their eyes closed. They do it two at a time and holding hands. They even do it backwards. With no fear whatsoever. These kids are tiny and the top bunk is probably the equivalent of an adult jumping off a first floor balcony. Would I do it? Probably not.

Would I ever tell my best friend that the dress she has just bought and plans to wear to her birthday party does not flatter her figure even the tiniest bit? Never.

Could I ever dance with the confidence of those two 8-year-olds? No. Even in a dimly lit club, squashed on the floor with 100 other people, I’m conscious of every single move I make. Dancing like no one’s watching is never going to happen.

So yes, while I’m still not sure that I want to have a kid, I welcome the chance to “be” a kid any day.

The writer is an honest-to-goodness desi living in Dubai

artslife@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 This four-bedroom villa covers 4,790 square feet and is part of a new compound in Umm Suqeim.

In photos: Beachside villa in Umm Suqeim, Dubai for Dh800,000

Taking a closer look at a four-bedroom villa in Umm Seqeim, Dubai.

 Suresh Raina is part of the the IPL's Chennai Super Kings team, which take on Kings XI Punjab on April 18 in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Suresh Raina spotted at Ferrari World

One of the top batsmen and bowlers of the Indian Premier League’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina spent a day at Ferrari World with some of his team mates, and seemed to particularly enjoy the world’s fastest roller-coaster.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.

 A rendering of People Abu Dhabi by Crystal. Courtesy People Abu Dhabi by Crystal

People Abu Dhabi by Crystal to open on Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene just gets better and better. After venues such as O1NE Yas Island and Iris in Yas Marina opening last year, it’s Saadiyat’s turn with the launch of the glamorous People Abu Dhabi by Crystal.

 Dumyé Dolls’s fashionable rag dolls. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane / The National

Top takeaways from Fashion Forward and where to find them

The ideas and designs that caught our attention and where you can learn more

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National