*sigh*The experiences of being young and naive, when everyday was an adventure, every new experience exciting and fresh. There was no mediocrity in our lives then. School meant working hard, and playing harder. Forming bonds with our peers with which to shape all future relationships. We found every story amazing. Grownups seemed to know everything, and we aspired to be "great" like them. We learned the value of a few good friends, rather than many acquaintances, though some of us may have forgotten that lesson along the way. We knew there was "bad" in the world.. somewhere.. But for now "bad" was not being allowed a second pop-sicle on a hot summer's day. Not that it mattered as long as there was a good friend there to spend the day with. We lived for today, because we had no concept of the "future".
We were cops and robbers, we were rock stars, we were doctors and vet's, we were astronauts, circus performers doing amazing acrobatics. We were invincible to all monsters, bad guys, boogymen, ghosts, and evil-do-ers. Yet, unbenounced to us we were the most vulnerable to real evil-do-ers and bad guys.
Things were simpler. It didn't matter where you came from. How you dressed. Race was not an issue unless it was one you were running in. And the friendships that were real and true, well, those lasted a lifetime (if only in memory.)
I learned so much from my childhood friends. I learned that the word "family" did not just mean people you were related to by blood or marriage. That to love someone didn't have to mean romantically or strictly for our said "families". I learned the importance of backing up my friends. And standing up for the "little guy" who didn't seem to have many friends. I learned that even though other people think they are "different" they should get to be included. I learned compassion, strength for myself, and for those who couldn't be strong for themselves. I learned to be giving and selfless for those who didn't have what I had. I learned a good friend can cure any bad mood.
I've lost touch with my "inner-child" so to speak, and many of her friends, over the years. It's hardened me. Which, unfortunately, tends to go hand in hand with growing up. I long for the days where I could run through the grass with arms open wide, pretending to be flying. No. I WAS flying. When summer vacation felt like it would never end, then always came to an abrupt halt, just when you felt like it was getting good. Where nap was a "four letter word". ;)
Talking to an old friend of mine made me see how much we've become the "grownups" we once thought were so cool. What were we thinking? How many of us are actually doing what we thought we were going to when we "grew-up"? She (my friend) is truly a wonderful person. She's talented, creative, smart, and strong. All things that drew me to her when we were kids. Talking with her helps me to see things, once again, through "children's eyes". I'm so grateful for the friendship we've shared. She, as with so many others, have made such an impact on my life. And I have not forgotten any of them. This is for all of you. I can only hope I've touched your lives in some small way. And I am eternally grateful to all of you who have graced me with your childlike wisdom, and eventual adult wisdom.