on the lost childhoods

 

at 25, I still carry my childhood with me everywhere, like a lucky penny I rub whenever life gets hard. the deep recesses of my mind overflow with memories of playing make-believe in the woods, tossing sticks into the pond, and playing catch as the sun went down. 

I think that’s why, perhaps, I grieve so deeply over the suffering of the children caught in the throws of war. childhoods, robbed. childhoods, defined by decimated homes and cold, sleepless nights.

when I was in greece this last summer, a syrian mother told me that her breaking point back home in syria was when her two-year-old son wouldn’t stop crying. he would run around the house in hysterics as planes dropped bombs overhead. his first memories of life—quite literally—will be war and violence, fear and suffering. 

in political seasons when everything is leverage and promises ring empty, it’s easy to forget that every choice we make leaves a mark, a legacy. may we mourn for the lost childhoods, but let’s not lose hope for redemption. because deep down, there is joy to be found.