The theme for the month, rather inconveniently, is "Kids." Thankfully, this includes "kidding around" in addition to actual children. We'll get to that eventually. For now, on to the more obvious meaning of the word.
You might be wondering what a single college student might possibly have to say about kids. I hardly ever even see kids--the only kids in my life, really, are my sister's. I'm the youngest in my family, so I don't even have younger siblings to write about. Obviously, I'm not going to be giving any parenting advice, or recounting hilarious anecdotes of the "kids-say-the-darndest-things" variety.
I don't really know a lot about raising kids, but hey--I was a kid at one point in my life. (Arguably, I'm still rather a kid.) Albeit probably a rather unusual kid, but still a kid nonetheless.
|By andreshm1 at fotocommunity.com|
I was the sort of kid who spent as much time outdoors as possible--not really to play sports, but because it was much easier to imagine that I was in some kind of enchanted forest that way. I was always somewhere else in my mind. When I wasn't outside, I was reading books like Dealing with Dragons and Ella Enchanted. I imagined myself in magic castles, on pirate ships, in space.
But my most exciting dreams weren't fantasy--they were of my own future. I spent most of my childhood wishing I were older. I wished I were 16, or in college, or married with kids. I was so aware of my own ignorance, naivete, silliness, awkwardness.
And now here I am, living many of the dreams I had as a kid. To be honest, I don't blame myself for looking forward to this time in my life. Being a kid, contrary to what many people seem to believe, is not particularly easy. Especially for a kid like me. Not that I had it bad--actually, my circumstances as a child were some of the best. I had parents who loved me and each other, I was best friends with my siblings, I was living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I had great friends. I couldn't have asked for anything more as a child. But I was a child, and I knew it.
I've often wondered if other children these days are similar to the way I was. I felt out of place a lot of the time. But I'm sure the adults in my life had no idea how I felt. I think I didn't know how to express what was bouncing around in my mind; actually, I don't think it ever really crossed my mind to express it. I think we all think that children are so simple-minded that we understand them very easily, but that wasn't true in my case. Actually, I think I'm rather easier to understand now than I was as a kid.
Sometimes I wonder: if I could visit myself as a child, what would I say to myself? Would I give advice? Tell myself about my future?
I've concluded that I would give myself a hug and I would say, "You are perfectly wonderful the way you are. Don't ever believe any different. There's plenty of time to grow up. Enjoy what you have, and who you are, right now."
Maybe I'll say that to my own kids.