Lost Childhood

January 23, 2017
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As a young child,
Your biggest worries
Are the weather-
Will it rain today?-
And which annoying sibling
Stole your toy.

As a young teen,
Your biggest worries
Are clothes
And friends
And homework.
Other than that,
You have your life ahead of you.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
You get many more years
To think about that.

Who's your best friend?
It may change soon, it may not.
Your answer might not be what it was a month ago.
But you have fun regardless,
Fun with the day's BFF.

What will you wear for picture day?
Will it be a dress or a skirt,
Jeans or leggings?
In a year that will not matter;
You have your life ahead of you.

No problems as a young teen,
Young and in middle school,
Or as a little kid,
Playful and innocent,
Should last.

They're temporary.

You're young, you're naïve.

You think it will last,
The care-free nature of childhood.

You feel old,
And yet you don't truly need to worry.

You shouldn't have to worry about
Adults in white coats
And stethoscopes,

Thin white sheets
On a button-filled bed,

Tests and tests and tests
To tell you what's wrong.

Pills to make you feel better.

You shouldn't have to worry about
Whether or not you'll get better.
Whether or not your life will begin again,
Whether or not these fears will last
The rest of your life.

You don't think they will last.

Why should they?

They never have before

But slowly you are forced to realize,
As a child,
That they're not going to leave.

They'll stay with you forever,
Unlike 6th grade picture day
Or a failed math quiz.

Unlike a lost toy,
Or wet clothes.

They're forced to grow up,
Forced to mature beyond their time.

One day
We might find a cure,
A cure for illnesses
Affecting children.

One day
We might find cures,
And save the innocent, necessary childhood
Of many.

We can only hope.
And believe.
And pray.
And be aware.

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