I had a dream that I could still be a child. That wanting to play hide and seek wouldn’t be considered lame, and wearing pigtails wouldn’t be looked upon as naughty. That I could still be carefree and play outside Saturday mornings with my brothers with our never ending game of tag. That my older brothers would come back home and my younger brother wouldn’t have baseball practice everyday of the week so my family could sit down all together for dinner.
I want back a sense of naivety. I want to take chances without the reminder of all the times I tried and failed. I want to talk to people with immense trust forgetting all the times my friends betrayed me and hurt me. Sometimes I want to not know what’s going on in the world because the news always makes me sad. But I don’t want to be ignorant.
I want more time. When I was younger it felt like I had so much time. Everyday I would get home from school at two and I never had any homework. Now I get home at five I’m lucky from school and then I have homework that will keep me up till the a.m.s. Every morning I drive in my car at seven on my way to school feeling stressed about schoolwork or catching the train or having enough gas. I pass two toddlers three doors down from my house. Their mom is sitting in a white lawn chair watching them run around happily in the grass. I just want to stop my car, roll down the window, and scream, “Use your time wisely. Appreciate what you have. One day you’re going to realize you can never go back to the way you were. And you might miss it.” But I don’t warm them. I just keep driving. Then at the end of my neighborhood I pass an elementary bus stop. Twenty kids under five feet are there, some running around, others clinging tightly to their parents. There is one little girl that reminds me of herself. Everyday she waits at her bus stop holding a different stuffed animal. I can still remember in kindergarten I brought one stuffed animal to school in the front of my Pocahontas backpack. Again I want to warn the kids, but again I don’t.
The truth is I’m only 17. In many ways I still am a child. But in many ways I’m not. For now all I can do is hold onto the bits of childhood I still have.
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