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Innocence lost

December 15, 2012 - Carrie Olson
Clouds — large, fluffy ones. As they meandered across the blue sky, they changed shape. From a castle to a dinosaur, I was entranced by the magic that danced before my eyes. I was lying barefoot in the grass outside of my childhood home, moving my arms and legs this way and that through the blades — making grass angels. It was summertime and I could smell the fragrance of freshly laundered sheets that swayed on the neighbor’s clothesline.

I couldn’t have been more than 6 when this memory was created; and while it felt as if hours had gone by, I bet it was mere minutes. That was why childhood was so amazing. Time was immeasurable. It didn’t matter what was happening that day, it could last forever. And why not? There was nothing to worry about, and if there was, it was whether a game of tag would be played that day or if mac ‘n’ cheese would be on the lunch menu. That is all. Adults did the rest of the worrying for us. Life was carefree, exciting, and all-around happy.

That memory sticks vividly in my head on days when I want to go back to my childhood — back when all I wanted was to become an adult. That is when I realize how lucky I am. I had a wonderful childhood, something I can look back on and wish to revisit.

It hasn’t been a full two days yet since 20 children had their precious time on earth taken away. They won’t be able to make memories with their families and loved ones. No more endless days catching fireflies or playing in the park. Their parents won’t be able to watch them become the adults they had so wished to be at a young age. It is absolutely senseless.

A numbness has spread through me as I have continued to be haunted by the very thought, as many others are. I picture those wrapped presents sitting underneath the decorated tree. The family Christmas photos already in the mail. A half-finished gingerbread house on the table. I don’t know what their families are going through, nor can I ever imagine the grief that has stricken the households in Newton, Conn.

So I sit here, staring into the lights of my tree. Remembering what I cherished at their ages and the memories I built at that time. A time of complete and utter innocence. On the days that I feel bad, I can wish with all my might to go back to the age of 6 where time seemed to stop. That opportunity is lost for them. And while those experiences won’t happen — I am sure with every day that passes, their families will also ask why they weren’t allowed to have that chance.

"This looks familiar, vaguely familiar, Almost unreal, yet, it's too soon to feel yet. Close to my soul, and yet so far away. I'm going to go back there someday.

Sun rises, night falls, sometimes the sky calls. Is that a song there, and do I belong there? I've never been there, but I know the way. I'm going to go back there someday."

- lyrics from “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday” by Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams from "The Muppet Movie"


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