EldestGirl is an amazing mixture of youthful optimism to change the world, and an absolute refusal to break any rule, ever.
The school has a sensible “no scooting on the playground” rule in order to stop children being mown down left, right and centre. Every day, she scoots to school, and hops off her scooter as we cross the threshold to the school playground. However, one day a week, I pick her up from an after-school club where there is nary a child to be seen. It would – I am sure – be totally acceptable for her to have a slow scoot through the completely empty playground. But no. No scooting is a rule, and she will not question it.
Lately she has been very taken by Greta Thunberg. They have been watching Newsround at school and Greta has been taking centre stage, by all accounts. EldestGirl is enraptured.
Recently EldestGirl’s class have also been on a school trip to London. We explained to her that she might see some protesters, and that some members of Extinction Rebellion have even glued themselves to buildings. EldestGirl was fascinated.
Spurred on, no doubt, by this heady combination of Newsround and her monthly National Geographic Kids magazine, she is planning big changes for the world. She already wants to swap her plastic school water bottle for a steel one (no word yet on whether we’re to chuck the now-redundant plastic one straight in the sea to murder a turtle).
It was clear she had been grappling with some big ideas when she came downstairs on Saturday and gave her announcement.
EldestGirl: Mummy, Daddy, I’m going to be an activist when I grow up.
TheBloke (TM): Wow, that’s great. Good for you. You could change the world. Activists do some amazing and dangerous things. You know, some activists even get arrested!
EldestGirl: Wait, what? Dangerous?
Me: Yes, the ones who are doing things like gluing themselves to buildings or causing disruptions can even end up going to prison!
There is a heavy pause.
EldestGirl: I think I will just be one of the people who holds a sign. That’s OK, isn’t it?