Age of Innocence

Life's a Fairy Tale - Page One

Age of Innocence

Life’s a fairy tale
To live is to have fun in the playground of wonders

Life falls into tragic turns
Life suffers cruel twists

Life may lose grip of meaning and direction
Life may lose sight of a future worth-dying for

Through the storm and through the fire
Life finds hope no matter how frail

For life’s a fairy tale
And fairy tales conclude with ‘happily ever after’

Life’s a Fairy Tale

I couldn’t explain how I felt while watching her. For sure, I was happy and excited, but a part of me was scared that she might forget a line or for whatever reason something wrong might happen.

Well, a natural maternal paranoia perhaps. That was the first time that my daughter performed before a huge crowd. Of course, she loved performing. She loved to show off every new little trick that she had just learned. She was innocently proud of every little new thing that she had just discovered. With the slightest prodding, she would showcase without any shadow of reservation or aloofness her treasured skills. And she enjoyed every burst of cheer and laughter from her audience.

She was naturally cheerful and ebullient. She was always in high spirits. Always happy. Always lighthearted. Here in our remote barrio, she was the most famous child, a kind of her own, a star in her own ways. Everyone called her a wonder child.

But it was a totally different arena this time. It was the main event of the Araw ng Barangay. Here in our place, that was the biggest and grandest event.

Teardrops rolled down my face as I held her picture when she did that performance. She was wearing a light pink ankle-length dress, sleeveless with multilayered ruffles from hips down. Her bright eyes were sparkling with joy. Her naturally buoyant oval face exuded a future full of promise. She was a perfect reflection of a soul wrapped in the age of innocence, unblemished by the tyranny of time, unscathed by the ruthlessness of fate. She was a perfect picture of a fairy tale approaching its fabled ‘happily ever after’.

Age of Innocence

She’s a perfect reflection of a soul wrapped in the age of innocence, unblemished by the tyranny of time, unscathed by the ruthlessness of fate. She was a perfect picture of a fairy tale approaching its fabled ‘happily-ever-after’…

That was ten years ago. She was in her first grade, in a way, taking the first few steps towards her dreams, crazy and big dreams.

She was an insane dreamer, always thinking of achieving the almost improbable ones. She was highly self-driven. Always striving to be the best. Always aiming at perfection. She was always out to beat herself,. Never contented. Always believing that she could be more than what she was.

“Life’s a gift from God. The best way to show our gratitude for the gift of life is to strive to be the best that we can be”, she would insist whenever I reminded her to slow down a bit. What a wonderful problem I had with my daughter then, the difficulty of trying to restrain her while she kept pushing herself.

She was naturally persistent in reading books and stories, which tickled her imagination. There were times I was worried that she might grow up detached from reality because she seemed to take the fairy tales she read as real. She often talked of a place in the future where she was the goddess princess whose wishes were all fulfilled, whose commands were obeyed. Of course, she was a kind princess who vanquished the evil witches and willed nothing but happiness for her people. I comforted myself that it was just a natural part of growing up. After even among adults,  deep in everyone’s heart there exists that age of innocence, a child who believes that life’s a fairy tale, a soul that, though torn and broken, kept believing in happily ever after; in the core of everyone’s being there was that child, the soul  that always inspired one to remain hopeful and optimistic amidst life’s turbulence and turmoils. But I couldn’t help worrying. What if she would never outgrow it? What if she would never come to grip with the harsh realities of life? How would she manage things when life would finally decide to reveal its ugly face?

But Greg just laughed off my worries. “It’s part of growing up. It’s natural. It happens to everyone. But, she’ll outgrow it. In time, she’ll understand life as it is.” He would say shrugging his shoulders.

In time. Greg was right. But I never thought that the time would come in such a brutal and ruthless way.