Reliving Childhood

March 5, 2010
I was at my friend’s house, lying on her couch awhile playing around with Garage Band feeling hopelessly bored. My friend was briefly babysitting her adorable six-year-old neighbor, Tess. She sat quietly beside us, unsure about what to do around new people. Her two messy braids were half undone, probably from endless hours of Tag. Her colorful dress and stockings reminded me how much fun it was to be six and not care if you looked like you ran into a rainbow. Sitting next to her made me feel old, not mature, but old. I wonder if there’s a secret about how to not feel self-conscious or insecure that all the little kids know, but we’ve forgotten.
Soon, she noticed that one of her braids was coming out. She tugged on her hair and asked sweetly, “Braid?”

I smiled and braided her hair back in a second. This small act of kindness was enough for her to snuggle up to me and open up. She looked up at me, wondering what we would do next.
“Do you wanna help us record a song?” I asked.
She nodded her head excitedly and revealed a smile so wide that her face must have felt numb. My friend and I didn’t think of writing lyrics beforehand, so we started blurting out random noises. Tess quickly joined in, squeaking and squawking away with us. Soon she was off the couch, hopping around and flailing her arms and tongue in all directions. After the song was recorded, my friend and I stopped yelling to hear our song. Tess continued to shout. I winced as she squealed a high C. I was beginning to fear that my friend and I would end up paying for hearing aids for everyone in Ardsley. But looking at Tess’s face, which was practically blinding you with pure joy, I decided it could come out of my college fund. A second later, Tess and I started to yodel into the microphone.

It wasn’t long when Tess’s dad came to pick her up. We exchanged good-byes and she left the house, leaving with a huge, radiant smile over her face. As the door closed, my mouth curved into my own huge, radiant smile and I clicked the record button on a new song.

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