Frilly socks and chipped nail polish
Listen to while reading: "Us" by Regina Spektor
I miss my childhood. I miss the time when I used to pair white sneakers with yellow shorts and an oversized batik tee shirt. The time my neighbors bought me a pair of frilly socks with lime green lace trim, on one of their travels to Morocco, and I never wanted to take them off. When my greatest wish was to have pancakes for dinner with cinnamon and sugar. When I did not care what my hair looked like, because spending all my afternoons outside meant that messy hair was a matter of course. Dirty knees and scabs on our shins did not matter, it was a sign of a good day. Chipped nail polish was beautiful and being weird was even more beautiful. I miss playing dress up and putting glitter spray in my hair when attending a birthday party, singing songs to the ocean with my best friend at sunset, sharing a pair of earplugs with my father while listening to Guns N'Roses on my iPod, “making perfume” out of handpicked wildflowers and feeling like an adult as I received my first nokia. I guess I haven’t yet felt as much as an adult as I did back then, and maybe I never will. My bedroom walls were bubblegum pink and I could see the beach from bedroom window. Reading Anne of The Green Gables, The secret garden and Heidi, watching Sabrina the teenage witch while I ate my cereal in the morning and rushing home to watch Hannah Montana on Fridays after school – it‘s strange to revisit these memories. Now, I can’t even imagine a day gone by without as much as an ounce of stress. Perhaps I’m just romanticizing, I guess I had my worries. But I know for certain that I was lucky, too many grow up too fast. I am lucky to be able to say that my childhood was colored by days spent hiking, writing crappy songs about superheroes, picking blueberries in the forest and not worrying about how I would feel in the morning until the morning came.
There are so many lessons we can learn from children and our own childhood.
As children, we did not care about appearance. We wore our bodies proudly - they were the machines we lived in that would help us cross mountains, sing with the birds in the morning, run so fast that the air started to whistle or swim, swim, swim further out in the ocean. In our world everybody was just as much of a princess.
We expressed ourselves creatively without judgement. We would draw, create and paint with all the colors of the rainbow and our imagination could take us anywhere. We often created without having a plan, just letting our mind run free with the pencils. Never second-guessing.
We thought of every day as a fresh start. Most children do not carry their past nor yesterday's worries on their shoulders the next morning. Instead of putting on a heavy coat of anxiety each morning, we embraced the new day and turned over a new leaf every time the sun rose. Those were the days where everything felt possible, we were certain that not one day would ever look the same.
Scars and bruises were nothing but signs of strength, whether a bone was broken or you tripped and cut yourself from running too fast. While children see the scars as stories to tell, we as adults grow used to hiding our wounds. We don’t want to be seen as weak so we cover up and hold in our pain, but for children the connotations are the opposite. We saw the world with an open mind. Not afraid to try new things and not knowing about the real pains of the world. Being oblivious can be bliss.
We noticed tiny details that nobody else seemed to care about, like the steam spiraling upwards from the hot cup of coffee in your mother's hand to the speckles in a cat's green eyes. Always so curios, so we would always pay attention to these little things. My mother used to tell me that it was only me who could spot such weird little details, but in fact it was she who had forgotten to notice the everyday beauty, from the patterns inside an orange cut in halves, to the robin sitting completely still at a branch in one of the tall trees we passed on our way to the bus that Sunday afternoon.
We have to remember to keep our inner child alive - Let's be curious, free and present.