The Innocence of Childhood

Jenny - san luis obispo, California
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

It all began on a very hot summer’s day in Sunnyvale, California, where there was not a single cloud in the sky. I was a five year-old with no choice but to play inside for the day because of the blistering weather. I was a very young, adventurous child and felt I was invincible.

On this day, my brother and I were playing a video game called Super Mario. We were playing for a good hour or two when I had run out of lives. My brother was adamant on not sacrificing any more of his lives, so I threw down my remote control and stormed out of the living room. I decided to head to the bedroom to play, and there, I learned a valuable lesson.

Perched atop my bed next to the window, I was playing with an action figure on the sill when a novel idea suddenly struck me. Why don’t I try to balance on the window sill and get some extra practice for when it comes time to battle it out with my. With one leg on the window sill, I was preparing to pull my other leg up when before I knew it I slipped, and was falling out the window.

Confused and dazed, I attempted to stand up and walk back to my house, but my legs denied me. So I settled on crawling back to my house. My father immediately called 9-1-1 and before I knew it, I was at the hospital. When doctors could not find any unusual symptoms, I was

finally released, and I jumped for joy as my mom took my hand and led me out of the hospital. But little did I know how much my childhood had changed from that uneventful day.

Upon my arrival home, I could not wait to see my friends and boast to them how I had fallen out of the window. Afterwards, my friends and I rushed out the door to play outside and we decided to play a game of walking the fence. Normally, I would have been the first to be walking on the fence, but I was a changed person. I thought to myself, “what if I fall and get hurt?” In that instant, a terrible realization came to my mind – I was afraid.

I now understood the feeling of tremendous pain, and I also understood why adults had always warned me to be careful. I now understood that I was not invincible and in order to continue this life, I needed to be more careful. I look back on the situation now and grasp the fact that my glorious, care-free childhood days are over; that innocence is a period of my life I will always appreciate and yearn for.

I believe that children are innocent in that their outlook on life is one of invincible health, and there is a point where one realizes they are no longer innocent. I may have only been five years old, but after my incident, I knew the real meaning of pain and experiencing a great deal of it. From that day forth, I knew I could no longer take actions without thinking about the consequences that follow.