As a kid, there were multiple things that every kid just wanted to grow out of already and never really wanted to embrace fully. As young adults, there are multiple things that we look back on and realize we appreciate way more than we had ever imagined we would.
Take naps for instance. That was never a part of the day I looked forward to. Many kids, like me, would stare into the ceiling for hours, crawl around their room stealthily, or eventually give into quiet darkness in their room that lulled them to sleep while the sun poked through the blinds teasing them of all the fun still happening outside without them.
Throughout my high school years, I doubt I could count the multitude of stolen naps here and there or the number of naps my friends and I wished we could've been taking. Little blessings in disguise naps are… No matter how we feel after them, we are all secretly grateful for all the once-dreadful naps we get to have now.
As we all grow up, we all grow to have our favorite four letter words. I bet you're a sucker for the "s" word and "f" word too. That's right, we all go crazy when we see words like "sale" and "free". Discounts and clearance sections are the places to be in any store nowadays. And don't even get me started on thrift shopping. I know as kids we like to get the "new" stuff, which used to portrayed as the "best" stuff. Not anymore! Any deal to save money is a deal any college-aged person wants to take. There are so many hidden gems on racks that aren't near the front of stores. "Old" is becoming the new "new". As kids, we always thought we could buy happiness or "popularity" with having the newest toy or clothes, but now we're beginning to realize some things are more important, and saving money while getting stuff you actually like is one of them. Plus, buying things with our own money now makes us appreciate them even more and makes us think about which purchases are most important to make and which ones we shouldn't. Shout out to all the parents who bought/buy things for their children for all those years even though we didn't realize how lucky we were to receive it back then.
Sometimes when we look back at our past selves, we don't know where our heads were at that made us do certain things or want certain things. Or, even throughout our whole lives, why we always hope to act, look, or be a different age than we actually are instead of living that age while we're at that stage in our life.
At the time, watching any movie with a rating higher than PG was the way to rebel, show the leniency of your parents, or feel older. But honestly, kids aren't missing out on movies with higher ratings than they should watch since most won't be able to relate to the characters or appreciate them like they will when they're older. Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed as people grow up they still gravitate toward PG movies. We still watch new and old Pixar and Disney movies: the craze about the newest sequel to The Incredibles proves that.
Another thing we didn't realize we had good before it was gone: The Original Disney Channel. What more needs to be said?
And what about elementary and middle school? Yes, we dreaded the homework we didn't realize was extremely minimal until we got to high school. Yes, not many people ever like going to school. And yes, hot lunch wasn't always the best, but someday we'll realize we actually miss Bosco cheese stick day or turkey gravy and mashed potatoes. Who knows if those special meal days still taste as good as we remember them to be or if they still serve them, but we all knew it was worth it to wait twenty minutes in line for them. But we never grasped that we got to spend every class with some of our best friends for years. The classes were fun and creative. They were more about performance and growing than test scores. We started to find out what our interests were. And who could forget recess?! Definitely the highlight of most people's young school years.
However, one of the biggest aspects of life we didn't realize we had until it was taken from us was oblivion. All the conflicts and stresses of "grown-up" life and the world were hidden from us or we were too young to comprehend them so we lived with them unaware. There's a moment in many childhoods that mark the end of that oblivion. Many kids have to grow up too fast because of moments like these rather than choosing to grow up. Whether a child wishes to be older, it takes time for maturity to match the child's desire to be grown up, but with these moments that take away the innocence of childhood maturity has to quickly follow to help the child bounce back from whatever ripped them from their childhood bliss, and many can lose their childlike spirit and energy toward life.
While it is tremendously important to be educated about worldly as well as daily issues, it might be true from time to time that ignorance is bliss. And true bliss in life can be arduous to discover while we grow up because some of the good days are gone and we're just beginning to realize it.