Man. Its days like today that make me wish I hadn’t wished away my childhood the way that I did. Instead of enjoying the daily naps I had to take, I threw fits about it. Naps are now my favorite part of the day. Those days were so stress free. So simple. I was an odd child. I was a tomboy who liked to traipse around in dresses. I would rather play with dirt than play with dolls. I had long, bleach blonde sun kissed hair and I almost always went the whole day playing outside without wearing shoes. I would put them on before I went outside to please my parents, but then they came off the first chance I got. My sisters and I would rather throw dog poop at each other than have a tea party. Like I said, I was an odd child. But I was a child. A carefree, happy, simple child whose main agenda for everyday was to go outside and play pretend in my little backyard. My sisters and I came up with several new games every single day, even though we only had grass, dirt and little beat up bikes to work with. We pretended we were orphans escaping the dreaded orphanage. We pretended we were indians who had to be nice to the “white people” who came onto our reservation (we were reading Pocahontas at the time). We even made an entire town using only chalk. We drew intricate roads on the pavement, used our bikes as cars, and turned our little play house into a drive through restaurant that had a very wide variety of food–mustard with potato chips (thats all our mom would let us take out of the house). I remember one summer our dad bought us a big blow up pool for the backyard, and I swear to you…. The only time we left the pool that summer was to eat and sleep. We were in there from sun up to sundown. Our skin became a dark leathery brown and our hair was bleach blonde by the end of it. But I don’t regret it for one second. That was one of the best summers I have ever spent. Just me and my sisters spending hours upon hours creating imaginary worlds, pretending we were mermaids or sharks. You name it, we played it. I look back on the memories I had as a child and I can’t help but smile. My childhood was rough for the most part, but I had some beautiful times. Times that were so much simpler than my present. Life is so much harder now. The emotions are stronger, the mistakes hurt much worse. But I have my childhood memories to remind me that life was once a simple place, and it can be simple now too, I just have to make an effort to slow down and breathe every once in a while, the way I used to be able to do so easily as a child.
One of my favorite things to do is to watch little kids be little kids. I caught this picture as I watched a bunch of little kids slide around on a little ice skating rink. They fell more than half the time, but they always got back up and just kept going. They laughed and played like no one in the world could judge them. It warmed my heart. I wanted to tell each and every one of them to enjoy those moments. I wanted to tell them not to wish their childhood away by wishing to be 18 the way that I did. Because now I’m 19 and this is not the fairytale life that I always imagined it would be. No sir. Childhood is a sweet and precious gift. I can’t wait till I can have kids of my own someday and try and give them the most magical childhood they can imagine.