When I was 9 I watched Superman 2. I vividly remember the scene where the Eiffel Tower is evacuated because of a bomb threat. All except Lois; she risks life and limb to get up there and get that news story.
And I kinda liked it. Not the risking life and limb part, but being the one with the information that everyone wanted. If you wanted to analyse me I’ll save you the trouble. I know why it appeals to me. I grew up in a large extended family. If you wanted to be noticed, then you needed to have something that made you stand out. And for me, I thought having information that others wanted made you someone that people would pay attention to.
Anyways, right from when I was 9 I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I got my journalism degree but was spooked by my journalism lecturer and never quite pursued it in the traditional newsroom sense. But the urge to research and write and debate topics has never left.
It’s just who I am.
I look at my kids and I know my eldest hasn’t quite nailed what it is she wants to do. And that’s fine. I’m not a great believer in rushing these things; it may not become apparent until she’s 27. Doesn’t mean what she does in the meantime is a waste of time; it all means something.
Now my 11 year old has a thing (read: obsession) for the Rubik’s Cube right now. He was gifted a Rubik’s Cube in May and just this past weekend he competed in the Australian Speed Cubing competition. He clocked at personal best of 28 seconds to solve a regular 3×3 Rubik’s Cube and clocked 8 seconds to solve a 2×2.
He has studied the different algorithms to solve the Rubik’s cube and even bought himself a speedcube (a special cube that you pull apart, adjust the springs and lubricate the surfaces so it glides when you twist it). He’s even worked on his finger technique. The rest of us noobs use our whole palm to twist a cube; he plays the cube like you would play a piano.
He has a particular love affair for patterns; he was particularly fond of solving the Tower of Hanoi for a while there. And then he wanted to do it fast.
So the 11 year old has a passion for patterns and speed.
And the 8 year-old; well I’m calling it now. He is going to grow up and be in charge of a charity. His concern for the homeless and less fortunate makes me feel like I’m self-absorbed at times. There is one particular homeless person that sits in front of the QVB building on Market Street that he can’t stop thinking about. He has seen this same person there on a couple of occasions we have visited the city. When I casually mentioned to him that if it meant a lot to him we could bake some muffins, make some sandwiches and go back to the city and hand them out, his face lit up. He feels limited in what he can do so when I gave him this opportunity he grabbed it.
He has also just recently joined Mini Vinnies at his school and was just elected SRC representative for his class. And every Thursday morning I drop him off to school 30 minutes earlier so he can go to the library to help the kindy kids with their reading. He just wants to make everything and everyone better.
Sometimes I feel he is too young to think like this, to worry about such things. But then I remember I was 9 when I knew I wanted to know about the world and I wanted to write.
It’s not so strange.
It’s just who he is.