A while back I sat in the little park that is near my home and as is my occasional want - I just watched the world go by. Peace and tranquility can be hard to find on the Island and I grab such quiet and equable moments when I can.
I snatch them and I store them away.
Some little children were playing on the lawn of the park. There were a bunch of little boys and girls – both Europeans and Singaporeans – having a whale of a time. The family Helpers were closely watching the children and not a parent was in sight. The kids had not a care in the world and they were dancing and laughing and just having fun.
I sat back and took it all in.
It was wonderful.
A couple of the little girls had plastic toy telephones and they were having pretend conversations with each another and their invisible friends. One of the little girls wandered over to where I was sitting with her toy phone in her hand. She pressed a button and it rang.
It trilled and it buzzed.
To my surprise and great delight she handed me the phone and she ever so politely informed me that the call was for me.
No matter how big and bad you might be - when a three-year-old hands you a toy phone - you answer it.
So I chatted for a while to my invisible friend in an animated and elaborate fashion. The little girl was giggling at my pretend conversation and I had a bit of a chuckle myself. When I handed the phone back after a while and the little girl ran back to her playmates it dawned upon me that I had long ago lost my innocence.
A sudden wave of sadness washed over me.
The innocence of children is a wondrous and a magical thing.
It is precious.
How I miss believing and trusting that no one will ever hurt me or lie to me. I miss too thinking how one day I would heroically rescue that oh so beautiful princess who is locked away in a tall tower and we would run away together and live happily ever after.
I miss not knowing the pain of loss and heartbreak and hate and despair.
I miss dreaming that I could do anything that I set my mind to and I miss living in a time and place where the impossible seemed possible.
I miss all of those goodbyes that only meant until tomorrow - not forever.
Growing up is not anything like what I imagined it would be.
It is nothing like it at all.
I can't remember the exact moment that my innocence was lost but I do know that I never had the chance to say goodbye to it.
If anyone happens to find it could you please send it back?
Its absence aches and throbs and it leaves a void.