This I Believe

Tamara - Fortson, Georgia
Entered on January 19, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: children

I believe that it is important to not grow up too quickly. In life you are only given one chance at being young, but many people rush it. Society is always telling children that it is important to grow up at younger and younger ages. However, it is my firm belief that while it may be mandatory to grow older, growing up is optional. This is the motto that helps me make my daily decisions.

Childhood innocence is an important necessity to living a full and happy life. This means when you see something as simple as a Dr. Seuss book or a slinky, your eyes light up. It is being able to color in a restaurant and being proud when they put it on the wall. It is being able to play whack-a-mole at the local arcade without being embarrassed. This is a time when cartoons and ice cream fix everything, when your dad’s lap is still the best seat in the room, and dreams and stormy weather send you running into your mom and dad’s room dragging your teddy bear along.

Children are easily pleased. A child is happy with a 25 cent sucker or a toy from the dollar store. They do not know the meaning of a dollar and do not care about the material possessions that the rest of the world puts so much emphasis on. Money is of no importance. They love you, rich or poor, in the good times and the bad. They are more willing to play with the box than the toy you spent hours putting together on Christmas Eve. Their imagination is their best asset. They can play all alone for hours and never run out of things to play with.

Even as a senior in high school I do not mind playing with the balls in the bins at Wal-Mart. I am okay with wearing my pajamas in public. I still beg my mother for quarters for gumball and sticker machines in local stores. The simplest gifts such as stuffed animals still put a smile on my face. There is nothing in the world better then a walk in the park or playing touch football in the front yard on a bright autumn day. I feel most like myself when I can joke and be playful. I try to ignore the worries of the world until I am forced to confront them. There is nothing worse than cleaning and organizing.

I have been asked “Isn’t it time you grow up?” and “Aren’t you too old for that?” My simple answer every time is no! I have no use for adult life. I will run from the “real world” as long as I can. I believe that growing up is not an essential to life until it is forced upon you. There is nothing better about being an adult versus being a child. In fact it just may be worse. Children do not know the meanings of the words embarrassment or fear. They have never been heartbroken, stressed, worried, or depressed. They do not know any of any evil in the world. They are oblivious to the newest economic crises and the war in the Middle East. They do not have to worry about money or their credit score.

Childhood is over in a flash. It comes and goes in the blink of an eye. The loss of childhood throws you into a world of hard decisions with no one to help you make them. Your parents are no longer around to help you face the consequences of your decisions. It is not longer as simple as mom sitting you on a counter, kissing your knee, and putting a Curious George band-aid on it. Suddenly those simple fixes are gone. Falls no longer consist of scraped knees and bruised elbows. They become bankruptcy, foreclosures, repossessions, homelessness, and starvation. Being a child may not be popular in the world today but it is much better than being an adult.