FROM Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop:
Write about the event that was the end of your childhood.
Bits and pieces of my childhood were stolen from me so it is hard to define one event that actually ended it. It would seem forced and cliche if I said the day I left home and went to college or when I did adult things such as getting a job, getting married or having sexual intimacy for the first time.
Childhood is defined as the range from birth to adolescence and is further broken up into stages. I think that each time something happened to end a stage is when a little of my days of youth began to vanish.
I don't know about you, but I don't remember my toddler years. Since I am a mom, I can speculate that at some point I had to give up the pacifier, the bottle and diapers. I wonder if I relinquished those items easily or if I whined, cried and had a terrible time with those losses. It meant having to grow up and move on to the preschooler phase.
A couple of months ago, my youngest son gave up the "just before" bed bottle and he didn't resist much. However, when handed over to others while I go to MOPS, he still protest a little with a slight whimper. I have to admit that this makes me not want to hand him over; I don't really want him to grow up.
I know that going to Kindergarten was the end of my preschool stage. I DID NOT want to go. I enjoyed being home with my mom. In fact, I preferred it. What is funny is that I attended Kindergarten half-time! Still, I do remember crying and even being afraid of my teacher. She had a husky voice and was huge.
This part of my story gets personal. First, my parents divorced. I was forced to accept the reality that life is full of changes and disappointments. More loss meant more loss of being a child.
Also, during this prepubescent stage, others in my life chose to be abusive towards me or they involved me in activities where I was not old enough to give consent. I didn't tell my parents at the time because I thought I would get into trouble. I believed I had done something wrong.
You would think that this end of innocence was the finale of my childhood, but my faith in the Lord helped me forgive just enough to keep my adolescence.
So what DID end my childhood?
The realization that my parents weren't perfect. When they decided to cut the apron strings before I even graduated high school. Betrayal, deceit, lies, a suicide, abandonment. When ALL the responsibility fell on me.
When I chose to become an adult.