Today I heard a story about the simple sweetness of youth.
“Another one for your ‘smile file’-“ my boss said as she tossed me a balloon that had a scribbled I love you in black sharpie.
“My niece gives me a surprise every time I sleep over. Last week it was a bed full of balloons full of ‘your dog is the best!’ and ‘Phil is so nice!’ I kept my trunk full of them for a week, falling all over the parking lot every time I stopped at the store.”
Kim’s niece is 10 years old.
Two whole hands, double digits; oh to be 10 years old. My nephew Regan is turning 10 in December and I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. Only yesterday he was a peanut. I have watched him grow from a dream. Today he is so kind, sweet and genuine. He’s so little but so big.
Sometimes I feel like only yesterday I was 10 myself. As big as the world but as small as your house. Eager to grow up but still always struggling to understand.
Though much of my childhood is full of splintered film reel memory clips, I have a very vivid memory of 10. 1998 – the year we lost my father. He passed away suddenly and so I learned how difficult and unfair life could be at a very young age.
Life experiences establish your outlook on life. In a strange way, I have a connection to the 10th year of my life like many people remember their first car. You remember the good, the bad and the ugly; you always remember it with a fondness incomparable to something new or something old. It got you there. It got you everywhere.
My father traveled for many years for work and spent two weekends at home on a good month. As fate had it, my entire family had moved to Nicaragua one month before my dad passed away. We were gifted the opportunity to be closer together for the unknowingly short time we had left as a two parent family. I was 10 ½ when he passed away, but I had half of a year of wonderful, youthful ideals before that true test of faith came.
For years after, I found myself constantly retracing my hardships, recording my memories and emotions in the written word. I found solace in my own thoughts. Even in the shadows of my life, I somehow continued to grow.
I have led a life that has made me the person that I have become and continue to grow into.