Thursday, March 15, 2012

What is it About Childhood?

How can we explain childhood? While some of us could admit we had a good childhood, would we ever want to go back? Would we ever want to return to the days when the world outside our own was a dark, unknown abyss, and all that really mattered was the present moment? We claim there is so much freedom in this! But is there? Is there freedom in being vulnerable, innocent, unknowing, and unsuspecting? Children are utterly powerless.

Do we love children because they hold a portion of humanity that is forever lost to those who have outgrown it?

I wonder at children. I remember my own childhood, how I literally believed almost anything could be possible. Even though I knew it wasn't true, a part of me suspected my stuffed animals truly did have souls. I worried if I covered my bear's face with a blanket, he would suffocate, that if I didn't leave the window open a crack, the tooth fairy wouldn't come. I suspected that my kittens really could understand me, that I could fly if I jumped off my bed high enough, and that it really might be possible to dig to China. Even if in my heart I seriously doubted any of those things were true, somehow it didn't matter. I chose to believe them regardless. Why not believe? Why not? I didn't stop and reason my way through it. I didn't pick it apart, analyzing every component, every detail, every potential flaw, I just believed and moved on with life.

There is a child-like part in all of us that was never meant to grow up.

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