By Marina Campoy-LoVasco 2023
They always say that there is someone, somewhere, doing something in the world. When I was little, I would say that someone, somewhere, was talking to a mermaid. When I was little, I thought mermaids were real. Now I am not so sure, but really, who is to say they are not? I mean, aliens surely exist somewhere out there in space doing something. So why not mermaids? I blame adults for letting me think that crazy things are real. For eight whole years of my life, I thought there was a man who traveled around the entire world in a single night giving children presents and eating cookies we left out with a glass of milk. Honestly, the part about the whole Santa Claus sha-bang that made me realize it was a lie wasn’t that he flies around the world so quickly. I genuinely wondered how he managed to live so long after eating billions of cookies year after year. I guess riding a reindeer-pulled sleigh is a big workout? Maybe it’s not so bad that I thought Santa was real though? I’m not upset that my parents told me about made-up worlds. What really gets to me is that I can’t ask questions about them anymore. No one wants to waste their time giving answers on the make-believe because they don’t have to. When I was little, answers were necessary to keep the flame of our imagination alive, but now they’ve let the flame diminish to embers. Having an imagination isn’t cute or encouraged anymore. Maybe being a kid is all about not knowing anything and accepting what your parents tell you. Or really, that’s what it used to be. Kids these days have no need to accept a word of what their parents say. We have Wikipedia. Sometimes I wonder about the things my parents tell me. Once my dad told me my head would explode if I wore headphones. Being an innocent youth, I took that information straight to heart and now ferociously refuse to wear headphones even when my dad himself asks me to wear them. My favorite part about being a teenager is that I have begun to question life. I find it so much fun! My parents get annoyed, and I understand why. I once asked my mom if she knew how many eggs a chicken produces in a day. Yeah, I ask those in-depth questions. Once in a while, my questions are answerable. Those are good times. I sincerely believe that ever since quarantine began, my mouth talks much more freely. Most of the time, without the permission of my mind. My poor family. I mean, parents still have some knowledge that our phones cannot provide us with, so we’ll let them stay on planet Earth. Unless they want to visit those aliens.