I am scared. I am melancholy. I am nostalgic. And I don’t know what else to do but write.
I am a camp counselor for young kids and being able to see and experience how they act at their age and see the world, especially at a place I grew up at, is truly magic. There is a the sparkle in their eyes over the little things and I am just thinking about when we lose that. When do we lose our zest, our playfulness, our silly inquisitive nature, and more importantly, why? There is a little part in all of us that wishes we were forever young. And I know some that may read this may think: why wouldn’t anyone want to be in their youth forever? There is a beauty in ignorance, but there is also a beauty in knowledge, experience, and wisdom, and all of this comes with age. But when we realize how being old enough to go in the hot tub isn’t so glamorous, we miss the days when our faces would be bright red and splashed with sweat from running around at the playground and it would still be considered cute. Sometimes I miss the days when I was youthful and free, still asking how babies were made and running across the forever-dark-hallway to wake up my dad when I had a nightmare. There are some days when all I need to hear a daddy pep talk. I know I am still in my teen years, still dependent (at least financially) on the old guy, but there is something in my heart recently that aches more than usual, something that craves my mom and dad’s smothering love– the type of love where, when you feel like you could crack from a teacher yelling at you or a mean kid telling you that your glasses are weird, a mommy or daddy hug could mend all the cracks and make you whole again.
As we grow older, we learn that our arms can spread wide, but not wide enough to save the people who need saving or heal the people that need healing and that building sandcastles higher than the skies cannot protect us from the bad guys. I miss being able to prance around naked (and it be acceptable), to take bubble baths with extra bubbles and stay so long that the bubbles would diffuse through my hair follicles and my skin would wrinkle like a raisin.
This world is scary. I see so much sacredness in the sunshine and so much power in people. But I also see so much wickedness in war and so much heat in hatred. On days when I wake up to see videos of people getting chastised or brutally beaten for the color of their skin, or nasty Facebook posts about the election, where some get so much adrenaline by bashing on other peoples’ beliefs. Where is the love, kindness, and acceptance that we all are born with from a young age? Sometimes I miss being so sheltered and protected. We are not born to be hateful, we are born to love and be curious– if only we could foster that beauty until the day we die.
I wish we could preserve our innocence in a little glass mason jar and open it on days like this to feel like we are six once again. I am encouraging whoever is reading this to observe the young people in our lives… to observe their little brains: nothing is wrong but nothing is right. Live through them, live the way they do: each day is a new adventure, there is magic stemming from the dirt to the endless sky, and despite that they are small, their fingers and toes still wiggle and dance better than grown-up’s.