I can recall the first time I ever really thought about the future.
It was back in 1980 and I was in the 6th grade. There was a meteor shower that night so my sister and I were laying out on the sidewalk in front of the house watching the skies. We lived in a small town in California then so of course it was a beautiful night.
As I lay there staring up into the black sky with its millions of twinkling stars my mind started to wander.
I thought about going into the 7th grade when school started up next and my sister was starting High School.
Then it started to snowball in my head
Then in just 2 years I would be in High School and she would be a Junior
and then she would be a senior and graduating and then moving away
and then I would be graduating and...
It got to be too much for me.
I couldnt handle it.
It was just too big for my eleven year old mind to handle.
I got scared.
I started to cry.
I dont mean sniffles I mean full on no sound coming out bawling.
I ran inside the house to find the only comfort I knew.
I needed my mommy.
She was in the bathroom.
I pounded on the door. “Mooommm!” I yelled “I (sob) need (sniff) you”
“What!” she hollered back through the door “what wrong”
but I didnt know what was wrong.
I couldnt put into words what I was feeling.
I didnt even know what I was feeling
I needed comfort.
I needed reassurance.
I stood there nonplussed.
How do I say that I am scared of the future? How do I vocalize that I am scared of growing up and leaving everything I know right now behind me.
“nothing” I finally managed to get out, holding back the sadness in my voice as best I could
“ok well just go back outside then, I'll be out in a minute”
so I went back outside
and I lay there staring up at the vast cosmos without really seeing it.
My sister asked me if I was ok.
“yeah, I'm fine” I replied
but I wasnt.
I mark that moment as the starting of the death of my childhood. Now I know it is not nearly as catastrophic of a childhood decline as some but that was mine.