Losing Innocence is a Heartbreaking Thing to Watch

by Byron on August 1, 2015

Guys,

Earlier this summer, we were riding around our neighborhood in the little red wagon.  Decker, you wanted to wave to a little boy of about 10.  You waved.  He wasn’t paying attention, so I said, “Maybe you can say Hi to him.”  I said it loud, so he would hear.  He heard and turned.  You waved.

He waved back, imitating your slow, exaggerated wave.  I glared at him.  He smiled smugly.

I literally wanted to beat the shit out of him.  I wanted to hit him square in his nose, one time for every single thing I think is wrong with the world.  I guess that meant, for a flash, I wanted to beat him long past he was dead.

But, of course, that sounds ridiculous.  I sound angry to the point of lunacy.  And maybe I am.  Seeing and absorbing the hurts of the world gives one a special disposition to anger, if one is so wired, which I am.

And, of course, I’d be no better than him.  Worse, because, at least in theory, I know better.  The kid has an insecurity, I suppose.  Or maybe a meanness or a selfishness.  I don’t know.

He has a lack of innocence, that much I know.  He knows that you can imitate someone and make them feel bad or self conscious. 

You don’t have that knowledge, nor does Gibson.  I wish you never needed to have that knowledge.

The part of this whole thing that really kills me … It’s not going to be the kid who takes that innocence from you.  The world will take it some.  The kids at school will take it some.  But you will lose a lot of it from me and mom.  We are, like most, ever so human.  We’re not bad, just human.  We lost our innocence.  We got swayed by the world, consumed with a bunch of shit that doesn’t matter.  What kind of car, clothes, belongings.  The language used.  Who is friends with who, etc.  And, in our lesser moments, we probably even make fun of someone else to make ourselves feel better.  I hate to admit it, but it’s occasionally true.

I watch you both gain knowledge of the world.  I watch your curiosity.  I’m fascinated by it.  I watch you learn.  I watch you lose a little innocence here and a little there.  You are filling up with a lot of good, while you lose a little innocence.  It’s a trade-off as old as humans themselves.  You both are, like mom and I, ever so human.

It’s a joy to walk this road with you, even if I do have to participate in the loss of innocence.

I love you guys so much

Dad

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