I’ve had this someone inside of me since I don’t know how long. He’s only a child, and he’s always been younger than me—younger than I ever remember being anyways. In fact, ever since I’ve felt him there, in that place where science will never be able to really pinpoint, he’s managed to always stay that same age.
But the older I inevitably get, the more I’ve inherited the role of a guardian to the little fella. Doing that only seemed natural, as if it was the most basic of instincts. And like any child, he thinks he’s invincible, when I know full-well he’s not. But more importantly, I protect him because, if I ever lost him, I wouldn’t be anything more than alive by strict definition—just breathing really.
For as much as he is naive (or maybe just plain dumb), he’s the one that makes this whole world that I live in like some sort of fairy tale out of a Disney movie—full of love, song and adventure—and he keeps me ever curious, even after all these years. Without him, I’d never take a risk. Without him, I’d just be an adult. Perhaps now you can see why I’m so protective.
But I think we all have that little child, the one we first started off as, near our center and beyond the shells of our various selves we’ve created over the years, kind of like those wooden dolls stacked inside other dolls. Some of us don’t acknowledge them, and I’m not exactly sure why—those people never make great company anyhow. But, if I had to dwell on it, I guess I’d say that we write off that inner-person because we want to become adults and be nothing but responsible, as if life amounted to nothing but paying taxes and death.
I suppose I could sit here and work out the reasons why adults become adults but, frankly, I don’t want to. That kid is the most precious thing I have, even though there are times I don’t acknowledge him. But after the first real snowstorm of the winter season hits, and I find myself making a snowball—just to make sure the packing’s good—I know he’s still there. For that reason, I hope I stay curious, and yes, even a little naive until I’m in a wheelchair. It feels too good.