Star Light Star bright
The first star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.
As a child I strongly believed in the power of those four lines and I even had a particular star I used to wish upon. My star. Whether it was a new toy, the perfect birthday present, coloring books, you name it, wishing upon a star and reciting the rhyme was how I got it. Along with being my wishing star, it was also my most comforting friend. On the dark nights I felt scared, it would twinkle and in its luminosity I would feel secure. On nights that I was angry, it would listen silently to my endless rants and cries. On one of those upsetting nights, somewhere between my outbursts I made a wish: “I wish I grow up really fast so everybody would stop treating me like a child!” I think you know what happened next.
I’m seventeen now, and far from my childhood. In a matter of years I have grown up a fair amount mentally, physically and emotionally. As I get older I learn responsibility, maturity, loyalty, intelligence and strength and all sorts of traits that stir together to make a good adult. I have also gained enough sensibility and analytical skills to know that wishing upon a star is not the way to pursue what I am after. In fact, it is considered very silly to do so, in this adolescent world I now live in. Being responsible, reasonable and working hard is really how I am supposed to pursue what I desire. I am often told that I’m growing up to be a good adult followed by a pat on the back. Every now and then people will stop me and ask, “What are your plans for the future? “; “Have you learned to drive yet? “; “Do you have a part time job? “ I answer these questions quickly because frankly, these questions are not my favourite. Maybe it is the cliché effect or the repetition that I am quite bored of. Whichever it is, it makes me wish I would get asked something different for a change.
Last Sunday as I was working on some class projects my sister came into my room to say goodnight. I was locked so tight in my profound state of concentration that her entrance somewhat startled me. She stood resting one hand on my shoulder looking at my work in puzzlement, and commented, “This looks like hard stuff!” Trying to suppress my laughter at her childish choice of words she chose to comment on the work she found fairly complex I replied, “It sure is. The older you get the harder life gets”. Now that I think back to this late night conversation, my reply to her question must have contained a hint of regret which I failed to notice but she certainly did not. With more questioning and puzzlement dispersing across her face she asked, “Do you miss your childhood?” Caught off guard by her question which seemed rather philosophical for a nine year old whose main concern is usually, “What flavour of ice-cream should I get” I asked “What?” “Do you miss being a kid?” she rephrased, assuming I didn’t know what childhood meant. The answer to the question is a Yes, but it’s not easy to put that ‘yes’ into words that a nine year old would understand. So, I decided to go with the best answer I was able to come up with: “Sometimes.” I smiled, we hugged goodnight and she left the room, and I was left sitting there lost in wistfulness.
I do miss my childhood. I miss being innocent. I miss having the freedom of running around in my diaper without having a care in the world. I miss having the hardest decision to make being, “Should I color this picture blue or red?”. I miss feeling superb each time I remembered to wash my hands after a meal or bathroom trip. I miss the walks to and from the bus stop with my mom. I miss riding the bike with my friend. My special friend. I miss her too. Most of all, I miss being insensible to nostalgia. Like any other growing child, I barely ever stopped to look back because I was too focused on exploring what was ahead of me. The first time I ever truly longed for my childhood was the day I found out that my special friend had passed away. That was a life changing experience for me and although I sometimes wish I could turn back time and go back to the childhood, I know that I have to look ahead. After all, the only way to get over the loss of a friend and the nostalgic feeling is to move forward right?