The Innocence of a Child

“I’m interested in how innocence fares when it collides with hard reality.

Geoffrey S. Fletcher

I am interested too. I would like to know what happens when hard reality collides with innocence.

Does it just evaporate at once, or slowly transform into harsh reality?

Or it just vanished that you have no idea it was ever there?

Does it leave traces of it’s presence in you after it’s departure?

Does the space it leaves aches, throb or pulsate, gnaw and itch like phantom pain?

Maybe I don’t want to know, maybe I do know already.

Yesterday, I was almost late to get to work. I left my baby in his bathe to check on the soup in the kitchen. He loves playing with water.

Sometimes, I’d let him play there awhile. Sometimes I’d leave him just to attend to something else. I dashed out of the kitchen to check him and to drop his flask inside. I slipped. My artificial limb went one way, and the right leg the other.

It was sudden, I yelped loudly before I could stop myself.

My baby looked up and our eyes met. There were tears in my eyes. He imitated the sound I made and started laughing. He clapped his hands and kept laughing making the sickening sound over and over again.

I kept staring at him, tears rolling down my eyes, not from pain but his innocence.

I wondered if something happened to me then, something worst, if he would ever know. He would probably keep laughing until he’s bored and needs my attention. I shook off the thought and rearranged my legs.

My hips were throbbing from the fall. I tried to get up but couldn’t.

Our eyes met again and he started crying.

So, I laughed, mimicking his laughter. He joined me. He was happy. He’s a baby.

I thought then of when he understands my condition. It would no longer be a smile or laughter. He’d run to my side, probably cry with me. He would learn to help me up, soothe my pain and then he would know or learn to hide his tears and pain behind a smile like I did.

For now, I wish he’d laugh for a while yet before he comes to know the hard reality of life and the battles I fight everyday.

I hope he remains a child for a while and not grow up too fast.

I pray life realities do not hit you too hard, smashing your innocence while at it.

I hope it comes— slowly, until then I shall do all I can to preserve your innocence for as long as I can.

28 Replies to “The Innocence of a Child”

  1. I was just thinking about this yesterday! I got food stuck in my windpipe and was having a coughing fit. My young daughter thought it was hilarious and my older son was incredibly concerned. I wish this world was a better place so that we didn’t have so many worries and innocence could last longer. Thanks for sharing and hope you’re doing better after your fall.

  2. The beauty of a mom, I love how when your baby started to cry you began to laugh. You helped keep his innocence, reassuring his even in a troubling situation you were ok!

  3. a moment to cherish forever! memories are snap shots we get to keep and no one else can see them the same way you do. i love those cries turning into laughs

  4. Sometimes kids innocence protects them form. Horrible things your kid is going to grow up understanding you. Being kind to you and to people that are like you because you are going to teach him how to be kind his innocence is going to the transform in kindness.

  5. There is something so precious and pure about looking into a child’s face and seeing them look back at you for the first time. A child you created, seeing them look directly into your eyes knowing you gave them life. So much value and love.

  6. a child’s innocence is often inspiring. he is either happy or sad. his emotions arent too condusig and they can be the happiest when as youve mentioned just playing with the water.

  7. Beautiful prayer and well wishes encapsulated in a beautiful poem 🙂 I hope he gets to enjoy all the joys of childhood, too.

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