A Child's Wish Essay
Every child has a favorite toy. Whether it be a bright red racer or a plastic playhouse, there’s a different world of imagination for everyone. Personally, since I was just a small child, I owned a short baby lamb which I kindly named BaeBae. He meant the world to me. I refused to go anywhere without my little lamb by my side. Every summer, our family would drive up to our lake house, something my family had built by hand before my sister and I were born. Naturally, BaeBae tagged along.
The desert air normally blisters in the summer heat. However, this evening, the air rang cool. I was sitting tucked away in our cluttered yet bare garage in a neon green plastic playset. I was getting too big to tuck my knees under the table comfortably, so they hungover to the right, crossed at the ankles. BaeBae was balanced gently on my lap as I listened to my parents watching the T.V. from the other room. The floating sound of muffled music filled the air like mist after a warm rainy day. Not even a few minutes later, my sister peered through the door to see what I was up too.
“You must be joking!” she chuckled, removing herself from the doorway. “You don’t even fit at the table anymore.”
“So what?” I refuted, too busy playing to look up at her. “ I’m not hurting anyone.”
“Chloe,” she looked at me with pleading eyes, “you’re too old for this. Too old to play with dolls. His name is BaeBae for heaven's sake! What would people think of you?” I was only five or six at the time, but her words echoed throughout my head like a broken siren, calling my name and engraving into my skull.
“I don’t know…” I paused, the still shaken by the drumming beat of my sisters' words. “He should be Brian now. More grown-up.”
She laughed. She did not like the name and truthfully, neither did I. But, I had no intention of seeming childish.
As the years dragged on Brian became obsolete in my daily life. Not because I didn’t like him anymore, but because my perspective started to shift. If I was going to grow up, I had to act like a grown-up. Eventually, we even sold the lake house and stopped traveling over the summer. What was there to see? Buildings and structures seemed to lose their individuality. They blended together with the same blocky walls and stained glass that mirrored each other tenfold. Sure, they had their perks here and there, but in the end, they were all the same.
Brian was kept in my closet. Nothing too noticeable, but open enough for just me to see him clearly. His worn-down fur soaked and brimming with the leftover love of a young child. His eyes, small and calm with a soothing reassurance to them, glinted when hit by the light. Every so often on a particularly difficult day, I would take him down from his resting place and look at him with melancholy.
As the time kept marching forward I kept growing and growing, with Brian still tucked away for only me to see. Through these years of in and out of the closet, I started to learn. Not just about science or math, but about humanity and society. Once again, my perspective started to shift, but this time, at my own doing. On one extraordinarily average day, I decided to pay Brian a visit, it had been a while after all. But this felt different. To my surprise, instead of being greeted with melancholy, my heart bloomed with admiration. After a few minutes, and even more surprisingly, I opened the closet door with BaeBae still in hand. Fresh air seeped into my lungs as I stepped closer and closer towards my bed, each step seemingly creating new sounds to fit my new ears, new sights to fit my new eyes.
As though he was a doll made of glass that could shatter at any wrong movement, I laid him carefully on my messy overthrown sheets for all to see. What was there left to hide? What does it matter if someone were to see him? He can’t hurt anyone, nor can he belong to anyone else. He was mine from the start. I had the choice to let people see him at the risk of being called immature. It was my choice all along.
Although I would have never written anything about my stuffed childhood friend a few years ago, I now know that to hide what might be viewed as embarrassing or childish to someone else might be seen as something of a sanctuary to you. If you live a life, cast away into what you think people want, you will never feel fulfilled. You are the only one who decides what you are and how you live. The world can be cruel. But to those who know and accept who they are, it evolves into a vast playground molded by pure, unfiltered, childlike imagination.