For Ellie (10 Reasons to join the outside world)

(…aka for my gorgeous friend Gem whose due date it is today.)

1. We have ice-cream. In every flavour imaginable: strawberry, rocky road,

Bubbles... I guess a good number 11. by Steve Jurvetson

caramel, bubblegum…  I guess you won’t be able to have some immediately but it is worth the wait.

2. There are seas and beaches all around the world. They are fun, you can play on the beach and swim in the sea.  Sometimes you can surf or dive or snorkel and if you are lucky, you can see all the different creatures that live in the sea. You’ll be right amongst them and that is an amazing feeling. (Do try to avoid the sharks.)

3. If you come to London you can sit in the front on top of the bus. It’s like you are driving along by yourself or just magically moving around.

4. When you come out it will be your birthday! It will be remembered and celebrated every year of your life! There will be lots of presents, balloons and cake. There will be cake always, I promise.

5. Christmas, how could I forget. It is a once a year occurrence and you’ve just missed one, but it’ll be much better next December when you’re on solids anyway. Again, lots of presents by Father Christmas (great man, can’t wait for you to meet him), lots of yummy food, and beautiful decorations, lights and friendly company that make the dark days sparkle.

6. There are other children here in the outside world. You can become friends with them. You can laugh together and go on adventures or just play tag or hide and seek (they are easy enough games but hard to play by yourself).

7. Summer holidays. They are endless. There will be sunshine and if not you can watch films or make tents in the living room. You won’t have to go to school but it will be fun when you do return and see all your friends again (see above)

8. Music. There will come a time when you think that no one will ever understand you and your parents are crap (Hard to believe now, but trust me it will happen.) Suddenly you’ll discover all these people who have experienced the same or  have been through the same things and they’ve put it in a song.  For your sake, I do hope there won’t be a 90s revival then.

9. Falling in love. Not yet. (Until you are thirty! I hear your father scream.) but soon enough and you will know when it happens. There is nothing that feels better, crazier and more exciting. *Disclaimer: It will happen a couple of times, for the immediate aftermath of a break-up I refer to points 1 and 8 of this list.

10. There is so much to discover. You will learn so many different things from driving to reading, maths and making a mean Mojito. You will develop skills that some of us can only dream of. So please come and join us to as far as we know; then feel free to overtake, exceed and amaze us.

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