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Passions in Poetry

Childhood

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Robin Goodfellow
Junior Member
since 06-29-99
Posts 26


0 posted 10-07-1999 04:29 PM       View Profile for Robin Goodfellow   Email Robin Goodfellow   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robin Goodfellow

I know some might think this a joke but I am in total earnest. This is Spirit Week at my high school, ending with homecoming at the end of the week and each day is its own event. Today was "Dress like a kid again". As a guy it is hard to dress like a kid because there is little difference, only a maturing of style but something else struck me.
I was never a kid. I have been the same for as long as I can remember and before that my mother atests that I was never very kiddy like. Even now I seem as if I am far beyond my years. A friend put it best with "Your like a 40 year old father with a cheating wife, three kids with drug problems and eating disorders, a stressing unfufilling job, a bad heart, an ulcer, and spend your mornings eating whole bran and reading the stock report and praying to god that your heart attack will hold off just long enough for you to make the trade!"
He's rather descriptive if you ask me.
But I digress, the point I was going for is that since I born into mid-life I never knew what it was like to be a kid. After overhearing a few conversations about others kids thinking back I must put the question
to you.
"Did I miss out on anything?"
I only heard two sides to the story and both seemed unappealing. One was that they spent their entire time waiting to get older and not be the "little guy" anymore. The other was a barage of touchy-feely, ewwy-gewy memories with no real base aside from the fact that they occured during an impresionable moment of the childs life. Which I find to be overrated.
But maybe I missed out on something. I consider all of you to be insightful and thought that you might explain the big deal about childhood.
Lost Dreamer
Member Elite
since 06-20-99
Posts 2589
Normal, Illinois


1 posted 10-07-1999 05:23 PM       View Profile for Lost Dreamer   Email Lost Dreamer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lost Dreamer

Childhood is a time for imagination, a time for freedom of thought, a time to do what pleases the senses. Watch a child, and see the carefree attitude they express, like everyday was made for them. The word enthusiastic had to be created with a child in mind. Children love sports cause they can try to be all that their abilities allow them to be. They take on challenges head on never thinking about failure, or if they do, it's just shrugged off, and dealt with the next time round. Children are a reflection of the world they see around them, until they are taught that things are not the way they seem. Children should be the inspiration
of the world, for they come into the world so innocently, and their views are innocent until the time comes when their views become trampled. Childhood can be beautiful, and is most times cause the child holds the image of what his eyes see.
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


2 posted 10-07-1999 08:21 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Hi Robin-

You've painted a pretty heavy picture of your life, especially with the quote from your friend. You've offered no background to this.... perhaps you were thrown into a situation which required adult responsiblity during your childhood.... but you didn't say. So, it's hard to answer this (if, in fact, you are looking for some answers). I suspect you just wanted to share "you" with "us" and get to know people. You certainly don't want to hear of the wonderful childhood experiences some of us may have had.... which could leave you feeling jealous or angry (?)

Anyway, Lost Dreamer's assessment of childhood is very good.

What have you missed?

Well, it's funny because I guess I'm the opposite of you and I never grew up (not really, except for all the adult responsibilities I have to undertake now). I still like to play games. (all kinds of games, cards, board games, etc.) I play dolls with my daughter. Sometimes I go outside and shoot a few hoops in the neighbor's basketball net. I still like children's books.... life would be pretty boring without A.A. Milne's Pooh, and Shel Silverstein poems!

I dunno. Those are just some examples. The child's spirit is loose, free, inquisitive, excited, delighted by little things, in awe of the way things work....... all of those qualities I TRY to keep in my life, even now. (it's been a few years since I was a kid... hehehe)

Sooo...... whatever your motivation for posting this topic and talking about your missing childhood, I say this --

Don't miss it. Go get it. Get it NOW. Find fun. Find creativity. Enjoy playing with things and people. Go to your Homecoming dance. Cut loose and roll someone's house with toilet paper afterward. Go galavanting in a park somewhere. Swing on the swings and use the seesaw.... get dressed up for halloween and hand out candy..... go to the library and get the Pooh books and Shel Silverstein poems and read and laugh and discover the thrill of life from the naivity of a child's eyes.

After you've tried a few of these things, write about it. Poems, short stories, whatever.

Many people have bad memories of childhood. Some people have had their childhood snatched from them because they had to take on adult responsibilities early in life. You are not alone.

Living life with the eyes of a child is a wonderful experience. And it's never to late to experience it. Start now.

dp
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


3 posted 10-08-1999 09:38 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Lost Dreamer has good points on how a child's early years "should" be. However, I was treated as an "adult" from my earliest memories, and do not recall any memories of "childhood fun". I do recall that anything I did try, in the form of uncensored fun, I would feel silly about afterwards, and look forward to the day when I wouldn't be stuck in a kid's body, because so many expected so much out of me.

That is why I like watching my grandson. He fits Lost Dreamer's description of enthusiasm.

I cannot answer your question, but thank you for allowing me a place to put my own thoughts.

------------------
Sunshine
Look, then, into thine heart, and write ~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Robin Goodfellow
Junior Member
since 06-29-99
Posts 26


4 posted 10-08-1999 04:08 PM       View Profile for Robin Goodfellow   Email Robin Goodfellow   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robin Goodfellow

Doreen Peri, I honestly held no thought of hearing a reaction about my own life. I was trying to explain my ignorance in the matter. I had to ask because it just wasnt registering in my head. I mean just look at the posts here. One describing it as a great thing the other as a burden. I totally understand difference of oppinions but there is always only two in the matter.
Now for responses to the insights.
Lost Dreamer - Sounds nice. An encompassing naive perspective of the world would truly be a gift. But isn't this also at any age? Sure a child could be happy in his ignorance of the world but isnt there more to be said for the feeling you get as time goes on? As a child the emotions are obviously less complex but isnt the complexity more enchanting? And even if a child's imagination is more innocent isnt it more confined to the simple desires of the child and his ignorance of all that is out there? I also think that their courage is more based on the fact that they have no concept of consequence. I mean did you ever worry about a test that didnt count for anything? But you studied like hell when the SAT's came around.
Doreen Peri - I already responded to the first part of your post but concerning you description of childhood I must say that in that context I was a huge kid *still am*.I love games and own several copies of good 'ol Shel's books. But is that really all a kid is? I mean Ill read anything you put in front of me but does enjoying something that most kids enjoy make you one as well?
Oh and about the part concerning the force responsiblity, that doesnt apply here. I had to find my own things to do. I just prefered to be one step ahead of the game. Given, its a Big step but still I was given the same enviroment and options as my siblings and none of them act the same as myself. But I am deviating again, my point is if anyone who likes to be a little loose and immature qualifies as a kid then I think we all belong in a play pen. =o)
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


5 posted 10-08-1999 04:30 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Robin, Sorry I misunderstood and thought you were expounding on your own life. You said, "I was never a kid" and said you didn't know what that was like to be a kid and asked if you missed anything. Sounded to me like you were looking into finding some insight on how to get back what you've missed. Guess I missed the boat on this one.

Seems to me, I should have recognized that this was in the Philosophy forum, but I cruise around all these forums so often, I forget which one I'm in sometimes. hehe

Maybe if you had posed the question like, "What *IS* Childhood?" instead of , "Did I miss anything?" it may have been a little more clear to me. (I'm not blaming you that I didn't get it. I don't get a lot of things. I'm just suggesting a different way to pose a philosophical question.)

Anyway, thanks for clearing it up for me. Glad you're a fan of Shel and that you're having fun!!!

Wanna go to the zoo this weekend?

dp
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 10-27-1999 01:40 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I wonder if childhood is tied intimately to the lack of self-awareness. Yes, children know they exist but do they dwell on it? Do they realize that if they don't take any actions, they won't exist (that feeling of immortality that many people often speak of)?

I wonder if the nostalgia for childhood is the lost feeling that each one of us is/was the center of the universe.

Now, I have no idea what I'm talking about.


Brad

Nan
Administrator
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


7 posted 10-27-1999 07:18 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

One of the greatest ironies of life is that people as a whole tend to spend their childhoods striving for adulthood, and they spend their adulthoods striving to regain their lost youth.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


8 posted 10-27-1999 09:25 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It certainly is ironic but is it a simple reversal? One is hope for the future and perhaps a false hope. The other is a yearning to return to a false, blissful paradise.

Or is it really nothing more than you always want what you don't have?
starchild
Member
since 10-22-1999
Posts 60
manchester, england


9 posted 10-28-1999 06:25 AM       View Profile for starchild   Email starchild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for starchild

although i am only eighteen and so not in the full swing of adulthood or what you guys love to term 'the real world' as if there were two, i can give you my opinion. childhood is about learning, in the very early stages we learn to see, hear, taste etc. (reccomended read: An Anthropologist On Mars by Oliver Sacks) then later we learn what we can do with these gifts, then later still we learn what we should do and then we get to adulthood and pass through getting to the end and realising it was all a load of ship. so if you were born into middle age maybe you have been looked kindly on by the gods that sit atop olympus and have been given extra time to rewrite how you do life
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


10 posted 10-28-1999 08:23 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

If childhood is about learning then I am still a child. This is a good thing because that means I'm like Doreen.

 
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