A Letter to Our Childhood Innocence

Sarah Pollans

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To My Childhood Innocence:

Where did the time go? Where did you go? It seems like just yesterday you were right by my side, hand in hand. You slipped away so silently, I don’t even remember you leaving, but from the emptiness in my hand, I am sure you are gone now.
I still remember all of the time we spent together. Every recess on the playground, eating lunch at the picnic benches, quietly reading the back of the class. From kindergarten to the beginning of middle school, you were there. You were the only constant in my life no matter what happened; you were my rock. You stuck with me through the good and the bad, though times are rarely ever any bad because you made everything all good. I always wondered how you did that: how you managed to turn even the worst of situations into a beam of sunlight shining through the overcast sky.
Life is harder now; I have so many more worries. School is getting tougher; the future is getting nearer. Expectations are increasing exponentially, yet they often fail to be met. Progress cannot be made; it’s like a permanent roadblock in my head.
Deadlines, AP classes, the SAT and a plethora of other worries are quickly piling up. Sometimes I do not even know if I can take it anymore, and I wish it would go away. And though I know it probably will never, I think of your optimism and kindness, and I keep hoping.
I always wonder about what life would be like if you never existed. What would have happened if you were not by my side for the better half of a decade? How early would I have realized that the world is not all peaceful like I once believed? How soon would it dawn on me that sometimes life does not go as perfectly I planned it to and that sometimes life really hurts? I am grateful that I don’t know the answers to these questions, should my life be worse if I did.
I feel I am forever in your debt for everything you have done for me. All the tears of laughter and joy were all thanks to you. Thank you for every day, every moment, every single second you have stuck by me, for my life would cease to be the same without you.
Maybe one day you will come back to me. Maybe someday I will look back at all the time we spent together and reminisce about the good old days. But for now, you are long gone and only in my memories do you remain.
I know that I’ve learned a lot from you. I know that you gave me everything you could and nothing less. And I know that although I bid you farewell for what might be the last time, I will always remember you being right by my side, hand in hand.