When I was five, my biggest problem was how to beat Mario Brothers 3. I had no clue what a quadratic equation or DNA was; I simply knew that Mommy had all the answers, and that I should not talk to strangers. Now I am nineteen, and in some respects, smarter than my mother. Yes, one may not stay young forever, but we trade youth for knowledge and wisdom.
No one really considers the consequences of their actions when they are younger. Once, when I was about twelve years old, I discovered the effects of gravity first-hand. I had a bag of marbles and a big, half-deflated, green yard ball. Being the curious child that I was, I decided to see how far the marbles would fly if I put them on the top of the ball and punched the sides of it. Looking back, it was simple physics; the balls would fly up in the air until gravity and friction slowed them and pulled them back to the ground. However, I was one step ahead of physics. What I failed to realize at the time, was the fact that I was leaning over the ball when I hit it. Thankfully, the shooter caught me in between my eyes, and not in one. After the pain subsided, I realized that that was something I should not try again. Even through pain, we learn wisdom.
Yet, some things that happen in our adolescent years cannot be cured with Advil or a “kissed boo-boo.” My grandfather was one of my closest friends throughout my entire childhood. He was a safe place that I could run to for advice when I had too much on my mind, or if I just needed someone to listen to me talk. I never thought that he wouldn’t be there. I never thought that he wouldn’t see my high school graduation, or our state championship football game. It shook me to my core when my mother woke me up early one Sunday morning and told me that if I wanted to see my grandfather again, I had better hurry. Through this I realized that life is precious, so I had better start living more like it.
I have learned much in my life, and some lessons have been easier than others. Looking back and seeing my childhood being shed layer-by-layer, I realize that I have become a better and wiser person. The cost of innocence, it seems, is wisdom.
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