The last few mornings I’ve been taking my cousins children to school with her before I go to work. One morning last week I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, and was feeling in a particularly sullen mood. That morning, before my cousin’s little girl, Ava (aged 4 and 3/4), left the car she gave me a kiss on the lips, a big hug and shouted “LOVE YOU CHAR!” as she hopped out of the car in her little pinafore, her Clarks shoes and clutching her lunchbox ready for another day in reception class… And it got me thinking about children and love.
There’s a song by Dashboard Confessional “Living in your Letters” where one of the lines goes… “cos turning to you is like falling in love when you’re ten.”
When we’re younger love is so simple and uncomplicated. At a young age we respond to love in its simplest form, all we need is to be loved and give love back with neither hope nor agenda. Because of our age and minimal experience of the world on a whole (and not having the brain capacity to process such deep rooted feelings) we haven’t yet had the misfortune of being tainted by society and its prejudices, therefore we aren’t swayed by popular opinion. Size, colour, race, – all of the aesthetic traits that shouldn’t really matter when you come to deciding who you fall in love, but somehow do, don’t or aren’t a factor when you’re a child.
As we grow up this divide becomes more obvious, the innocence of childhood becomes lost and there becomes a real aspect of people following the leader. Snap judgements are made on background, beliefs, looks. School ground name calling becomes common place and cliques begin to form, and ultimately the innocence of youth is lost.
In this respect I wish I’d never grown up. I was always so desperate to be a grown up when I was younger, to have my own house, be able to stay out as late as I wanted, not have to go to school ever again (etc) that I forgot about what we trade for all of those “fun grown up” thing. We trade our innocence, our open mindedness, our young enthusiastic and loving natures that we have when we’re 4 years of age, like Ava… Who later that day still hugged me and told me she loved me when I had no make up on, I looked like I’d been dragged out of a sewer and I was dressed in an outfit you wouldn’t even donate to Oxfam because it’s that horrendous.