It always struck me as odd how different the world of adults seems from the eyes of children. I remember thinking how my parents were endless fountains of resources; they always had money and freedom (or so it seemed) and could –if they wanted– eat ice cream and cake and chocolate whenever they wanted… the sorts of things kids would do if they had free reign.
And one of the ironies of the world is always how constrained and stressful the adult world is, and how free and unencumbered the world of children is by comparison. Perhaps one of the most melancholy realizations is when the child grows to understand all the hidden dangers the adults kept tucked away, and the compromises made so that the kids could have just another few months of innocent enjoyment.
Who would trade ignorant bliss for cold understanding? It tugs back and forth all the time. After a deployment to the most “adult” or “grown-up responsible” endeavor –war, a time when lives are literally at stake– the sober realizations of childhood lost (and the expectations we had in our past) come back to remind us of the milestones we’ve drifted off course.