Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Child's Innocence

I never thought it to be a blessing. I had even equated it to naivety- stupidity, even. Childhood innocence seemed to be a waste. I was so eager to learn about the dirty, gritty matters of life that I so easily discarded it- too early on in my years, apparently. I thought that knowing the harsh realities of life would make the adults around me take me seriously. I thought that knowing meant more. It was too late when I realized that childhood innocence was a time-bound treasure that could not be brought back.

Oh, what bliss it was! To not see malice in every turn. To hold hands and hug a friend, and not have to worry about raising unwelcome feelings. To easily give and receive with no thought as to ulterior motives. To speak your mind freely and not have to worry about consequences. Or at least, nothing more than perhaps a scolding or even the bite of belt against flesh. To wake up in the morning and not feel a great burden on your shoulders. To look at friends and not question their motives. To look at the human population and not see the darkness that you now realize is present in everyone. To trust easily. To love freely. And, to laugh genuinely.

There is beauty in a child's innocence. One that I find difficult to explain. But I find joy in their kind, sweet smiles. Smiles that they so easily give away. Smiles that I know will come less often as they grow up. So, I take as much as I can get. And, I smile back. Because there is that power in their smile. A kind of spell that makes you smile back at them no matter how badly your day was going.

I feel delight in their unending questions- silly as they might be. I take strength from their laughter. But most of all, I feel hope blossoming in my heart with their presence. I suppose that's it. Hope. It is a rather difficult thing to keep in your grasps when faced with ugly truths of this world. Yet it overflows in them.

It's why they easily believe their parents would really buy them that unnecessary, not-in-the-budget toy. It's how they can look at the dark clouds and smile. And, when the rain does come, how they can laugh and dance in the rain. Because they know that the sun would show up tomorrow, if not later that day. It's hope. Or maybe they just believe that a rainbow would appear and they're eager at the thought of finding the pot of gold.

I feel old, and I'm certain many of the people who know me would say that I look the part, too. But, I know that I am young in years and have more to see, to experience, to live. I am nowhere near experienced enough or independent enough to make claims about the hardships of life yet I keep feeling chains constraining me, dragging me down.

So, yes. I am slightly jealous of children. Of their quick smiles. Of their hearty laughter. Of their innocence. Of their freedom. Of their hope.

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