Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Child in Us

By Orin

I was never interested in astronomy as a kid, but it is still very embarrassing to say that for a very long time I thought we actually lived inside the Earth. Maybe I wasn't the brightest of the bunch, but it can be quite tough to explain gravity to a little kid. Since one of the biggest complexities of childhood is the questions it brings; the hows and whys get mixed up quite easily. You could always tell that kid about gravity but it's not nearly as easy as explaining it to a student who is eager to pass physics.

When we were kids we thought that there was actually an old woman spinning wheels on the moon (even though men have been to the moon 40 years ago), we thought the Earth was flat and gravity had no place in our minds. It was then that the moon and earth seemed like enigmatic elements that we had stumbled upon, rather than floating pieces of rock in space that we now know they are.

Those were the times when we thought the adults really did know everything, but now we know it's only the years of living that they have gathered which made them even more confused and deluded than they had been as kids.

Children live in an intricately complex world. Their very active imagination and trusting nature makes them the easy prey for mischievous older siblings and the adults, who do not delay to insert their wildest fantasy into innocent minds.

And do they work?

That really did help us get past some tough questions in life.

Where do babies come from? You buy them from the hospital of course! Where else?

How does a girl become pregnant? If you kiss her (Although personally, I would blame The Sims for that)!

What happens if you pick your nose? The booger monster will eat your nails/fingertips.

Where do colas come from? The drain of course! Where else would they get black water like that?

And then there are the really bizarre ones. One friend used to believe that if you could move your hands fast enough, you could actually fly. Another used to think that if you use hot water all the time, the water supply company would get mad at you and stop supplying. Another friend thought that if he threw his toy cars out of the window, they became real cars. I could imagine what a pleasant surprise his parents must have had to see that their kid was providing all the kids in the neighbourhood with all his new toys!

A colleague used to believe that pineapples were not from trees (which is actually quite true) and thought that they were actually grenades. Unfortunately, where that thought spawned from will be forever unknown to mankind.

So, this is childhood for you. Some say it is something so magnificent that you only get to experience it once in your lifetime and then spend the rest of your life lamenting over the fact that it's over, while others… well, no. Everyone says that.

Some might have expected me to finish this with a rant that kids these days are a whole different species altogether; how their lives are too cluttered with cell phones, gadgets and whatnot to take notice of the wonders around them, but what we do not consider is that their worlds are kids' worlds too.

It is us who have grown up. Those dreams of ours are gone. We try to define our lives by those rules that that society has given us; most of the times against our own will. Those kids that we were once will probably look at us in astonishment and wonder if the complexity of our lives knows any bounds. We wouldn't probably want them to see us defeated either.

All we know is, that was a wonderful time. And we would do it all over again. Any day.



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