CAGAYAN DE ORO

Sunio: Rushing to grow up

Touché

I AM 25 years old, but I have never shaved my eyebrows before. Now, I see girls - ages six to 12 with “eyebrows on fleek.” Some even had colored and re-bonded hair at a very young age.

There have been a lot of interesting memes on the internet about generation rivalries that says “our generation was better than yours.” One of the most popular memes about generations on Facebook was about the Batang 90s.

Whether our generation was indeed great or not, I would treasure the days of my childhood where we would rush to the school playground after classes to play with sand and the monkey bars. On some days, we go home to watch TV and catch the afternoon animes, or race against my older siblings to take hold of the family computer to play video games.

On some days, we would improvise playtime and use whatever we can find around us to play “bahay-bahayan.” A blanket overhead the sofa or some chairs or the canopy of a tree in the backyard would be the house.

The best part is, we can literally “pick money from trees” by using leaves as a currency to buy “goods.”

Summer rains were also the best because we get to bathe and run in the rain. We would still opt to turn on the water hose and aim it at our friends.

Kids like me didn’t care whether our skin’s color turned charcoal from bathing in the sea every day all summer. Screw glutathione and papaya soaps.

I probably smelled awful back then from all the sweat and dirt, and was probably not cute because I had a boy’s haircut back then (at least I had no trouble going wild till I pass out), but for kids like me who did not have much self-awareness yet, having fun was better than looking well.

I had lots of scars, got dirty, acquired rough hands and some unladylike habits, had small arguments and rivalries among friends, had games, cartoons, and maybe, a really wild imagination, but it was the best childhood ever.

Now, I feel bad for kids who were forced by their parents or by elders to “look cute.”

This “cuteness” no longer means dressing up in traditional children’s clothing such as small sweaters, pajamas, or dresses with adorable cartoon or flower designs.

Unfortunately, to some, being cute means “dressing children as mini-mes,” Annie Holmquist wrote in her article “What Princess Charlotte’s Portrait Teaches Us about Raising Adults” posted in www.IntellectualTakeout.org.

Kids now are forced to wear warm, itchy, and uncomfortable clothes just so to satisfy their parent’s eyes.

Some are not allowed to run and roam and live out the meaning of their childhood, and are, instead kept indoors most of the time for them to not to ruin their outfits or smell bad.

Parents would then entrust their kids to TV, Wi-Fi, and smartphones to babysit their kids for them and keep them quiet.

Some kids have lost their childhood even before they were allowed to become kids.

Because of the fear that adults have, kids are then forced to grow up fast and miss out on the supposed innocent years of their lives. They are obliged to think and become adults just so they could grant what their parents want.

Taking care of children is never easy. I’m not really one to talk, but I know this. But just for the sake of convenience, kids should never be deprived of their supposed enjoyable years where they are meant to run wild, play in the dirt, trip many times, and scrape their knees.

While training is important, Holmquist further wrote that children are meant to be treated as children because if we don’t, we would make them immature and incapable adults in the future, since they will miss the learnings they were supposed to have from the rowdiness of childhood.


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