BY SAMUEL MAHOOD: Edited for publication
"If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Some might say, "I wouldn't have married, she cost me a fortune." Or, perhaps," I should have followed my hunch and bought that property or taken that job."
Well, at eighteen years old, I haven't had enough experience to say any of those things. My life is just beginning and as corny as it may sound, if I could change one thing, I would go back to my childhood and enjoy, appreciate and linger over every moment. Growing up, you want to become an adult so badly, you wish your time away.
Now I'm an adult I'd like to re-live some of the priceless moments of my childhood that passed so quickly. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the responsibilities of adulthood and feel privileged to be part of such a wonderful family. But sometimes I have flashbacks of childhood experiences and wish I could go back to those moments."
"As far back as I can remember, I felt left out when I heard my parents talking about important, adult things. I wanted to grow up, be ultra wealthy and have a nice home, a hot wife and fast cars. This was my dream even before I knew how to use the toilet standing up.
I took for granted playing hockey in the street with my best friend and my brother, pretending it was the Stanley Cup finals. Sleep-overs were great. I could stay up half the night with my friends and watch the Leafs play hockey right through the third period. Playing restricted, adult, video games with my best friend Dan was awesome too; games my parents did not think I was ready for. Sorry Mom. Man, I loved the end of the week - pay-day! A whopping two bucks! No hidden zeros. For a kid, it was a lottery. I could buy two packs of hockey cards or some candy. Holidays, trips and family events are all a happy blur.
Becoming a teen was a confusing time. I was growing and changing. High school was scary for me, and exciting too. Joining the football team and later, organizing a slo-pitch softball team was gratifying and fun. Meeting girls was nerve wracking but exciting too. It was a very significant time in my life."
"I wouldn't change a thing in my life. But I would like to go back and slow time down. I would appreciate and enjoy every moment to the fullest because you can't call them back. You live the rest of your life with the memories of those times and the influence they had on your life.
I'm very fortunate to have such a big, loving and caring family. I would like to take a few lines to thank them all for everything they have done for me. You guys raised me, put me through school, loved me and kept me on the right track. Thank you to my parents for getting me up and ready for school each day and being there when I got home to ask about my day. Thank you Gunny and Guppa for always being there for me and my brother and for coming to all our silly Christmas plays and more importantly our graduations. Thank you Jake for being my true best friend and willing to hang out with me no matter what kind of mood I was in. I love you all so very much and I enjoy the flashbacks I have of all of us.
Whether anyone reads this or not is not important. I just wanted to write my thoughts down. Maybe someone will enjoy reading it. I will leave you with one thought, one question. If you could change one event in your life, What would it be??"
There was more to Sam's essay. I Just touched on the points that formed the basis for his writing. It's holds a lesson for us all. Don't hurry through life without registering small significant details, without enjoying the moment you are in, without memorizing the smiles and words of the people who love you unconditionally. Get through the bad moments but linger as long as you can in the happy ones or the peacefully contented ones. Linger as long as you can in your youth because it is gone in the blink of an eye and you have the rest of your life to embrace the memories or regret them.