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Dear Little Miss Curious

A recollection of the thoughts my childhood self had on the world around me.

Written by Sara Diaz

Edited by Yoko Zhu

The world moved differently when I was younger. The sun used to follow me around. The earth would dance and sway with me. The clouds would paint images and characters just for my cousin and me whenever we lay on our holey trampoline and looked up. The birds would sing with the wind that blew through green-stained leaves on giant trees.

We used to send postcards to God by planting them in the soil before it rained because we thought he would answer our prayers faster. We would wrap scarves tightly to our ankles and hang from monkey bars. We would stuff water balloons into our shirts and tie jumbo Legos to our feet to emulate the clicks of heels. We would watch movies that we were way too young for. I still wonder why my parents took me to see Zero Dark Thirty in the fourth grade, but it didn't matter as long as I had a giant bucket of popcorn on my lap. My aunts would watch Family Guy in the same room as me, and I would laugh along at jokes that were too vulgar for me to understand.

I miss the obliviousness I had as a child. My siblings and I would play the Michael Jackson Experience while my parents poured over their taxes. As a kid, I would have outrageous beliefs that were created through my unusual imagination. I used to believe that your skin color determined your political beliefs, and it turns out I wasn't too far off. Because I believed that political ideologies were genetically inherited, I would walk into my kindergarten classroom with a Barack Obama pin and a long sleek ponytail because I meant business at the age of three. I was so vocal as a child that I went up to my kindergarten teacher and told her of the complete scandalousness that one of my classmates was in a relationship at the ripe age of four. I was hyper-aware that I was a child and my life was brand new…and so was hers! Mrs. Breslin stared at my little prepubescent alien face and laughed.

I like to believe that my strong sense of moral justice was shaped by my mother, who by the first grade, had me watching documentaries about the dangers of marijuana and the devil. My mother tried to expose me to reality as early as she could while simultaneously protecting me from it. My fears of the world translated into an innocence. My imagination used to scare me as a kid, but I also found comfort in it. There was a comfort in watching my night light flicker. It meant that angels were fluttering their wings. It meant the monsters wouldn’t get to me, and the shadow with the maniacal grin would stop taunting me.

I felt the most at ease on the nights I didn’t sleep alone. The nights when I wrapped myself around my mother’s arm instead of my already worn-out Barney pillow were when I felt the safest. If I had an intense dream, I’d wake up and tell my mother, who would interpret them as best she could (a practice I still continue with her). Oftentimes, she concluded that they were messages from God. My dreams became reflections of my inner world and the spiritual world. In the times that I wake now, I still dream as the little kid I once was.

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