This I Believe

India - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on April 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: children
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If Only I Could Be a Kid Again

Don’t you ever wish that you could be a kid again? Don’t you dream about returning to the place of simplicity and being carefree? Can’t you imagine yourself not having to worry about what you’re wearing and how you look? Every now and then, I think about these questions. As a teenager, I have to be concerned with how I look, I have to be aware of my actions, and I have to be make sure that I am representing myself in a manner that would be pleasing to myself and my family. Yet, if I was a kid again, all those things would not matter. My attention would be focused on going to recess or stuffing an animal at Build-A-Bear. However, as we grow up, we become more concerned about the thoughts and opinions of other people. From this, I believe that during our childhood we are free of all inhibitions.

For example, last November I went to the Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate a friends’ birthday. Since I had not worn a swimsuit in forever, I was reluctant to be the first one jumping into the pool. Twenty minutes had passed before I found myself making an entrance into the water park. It took me awhile to feel comfortable in my swimsuit since it seemed as if hundreds of people were looking at me. In reality, the only people that were focusing on me were the lifeguards, who were being paid to pay attention to the people in the pool. Nevertheless, while I was beginning to swim, I noticed that the water park was jammed packed with little kids. I began to admire all the little girls in their bikinis, because not one of them was worried about how they appeared to others. Some of the little girls were pulling out their wedgies, others were running around with their round bellies hanging out, and some were probably peeing in the pool. Compared to me though, these little girls were carefree and free of inhibitions.

This observation brought about a lot of memories from my childhood. When I was younger I never worried about sweating, shaving, or looking pretty for my school picture. I wasn’t worried about how my hair looked or whether or not my breath smelled bad. I didn’t dress to please the cute boy in my kindergarten class nor did I skip recess in order to rule out any chances that I would get dirty. All that I was concerned about was going to school and having fun.

Now that I am older, all of those things matter know. I’m pretty sure that they will continue to matter until I die. I know I will never be able to live as a kid again; once your childhood is gone, you can never get it back. However, I’ve learned that in order to not worry about what others think as much, I can at least pretend that I am a kid again.