Enjoy It While You Can This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Isn't it ironic that when we are young we are in such a hurry to grow up and experience life, but when we actually do begin to grow up, we are scared and wish for our childhood days again.

As I begin my junior year of high school, I find myself paying close attention to the elementary school children who pass my house every afternoon. They seem so full of life, so carefree that I cannot help but smile. After a moment, though, my smile fades as I ponder their fate. In a few short years, these same children who are content to kick leaves down the street will have to face immense changes in their lives and make important decisions. To them, life is so clear and simple. Colors, races, religions mean nothing to them. They are the personification of honesty and innocence. They are not materialistic, judgmental or prejudiced. They have not yet experienced hatred or the pain that accompanies it.

As I watch the stragglers from my window, I feel myself yearning to be young and innocent again. I want to be able to go to sleep at night, secure in my thoughts, not worried. I want to be able to jump into a pile of colorful leaves and miraculously forget all about SATs, homework, drugs, peer pressure, AIDS, the environment, violence, and my problems. How I wish I could turn back time and experience it all again. I probably would not do much differently, but I'd be sure not to take it for granted.

I want to run to my front door and yell to the children, "Enjoy it! It won't last long. Enjoy it!" But they have already turned the corner, dressed in bright winter jackets, avoiding cracks in the cement, their laughter forever echoing in the brisk autumn air. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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