I remember the day I found out there was no Santa Claus. I was an eager eight year old who snuck out of her room to catch a glimpse of the mythical fat man, only to see my parents arranging presents under the tree. I have never been so shocked, not even when I found out Darth Vader was Luke’s father or where babies came from. That day, something inside me vanished and has never come back. It is not something I miss now, especially as a teenager, but I still feel its absence. That day, I lost my innocence. Over something as trivial as St. Nick, a person fell. And this drop from innocence was not a pleasant one, nor was the faller remotely ready. All those years of being good for Santa, the man who watches you when you sleep; all the surreptitious smiles from my parents whenever the North Pole was mentioned: Nothing but lies! My eight year old brain could not compute. There was no redemption for those sorry liars who called themselves parents, except maybe the pile of presents under the tree…
The now refined Kya took everything with a grain of salt. I still do, though now it comes naturally. The Easter Bunny? You’ve got to be kidding! The stork? Yeah, ok… But the worst part for me was religion. A gnawing skepticism lurked its way into my brain one morning during communion. I was doubting! For the first time in my life, I was doubting the bible. And I hated it. I hated not being certain, not having simple black-and-white; this new gray area was tearing me apart. I found solace, not in changing my beliefs, but amending them.
I have, in the past years, learned to love this questioning trait I possess. Not only does it keep me from looking up when someone claims “gullible” is written on the ceiling, but it also allows me to form my own opinions, not my mom’s or my brother’s or my English teacher’s or my best friend’s. After all, where would the world be if we didn’t question society and challenge The Man? But I also have come to realize that a child’s fall from innocence should be gentle. Nobody wants to wake up and see the world in an entirely different way, even if it’s for the better. People hate change. It’s as simple as that.
So, I believe that a person’s innocence should be treasured. Not sheltered and protected, but nurtured and cared for until the day that its services are no longer required. This I believe.