Second childhood. Or: Time capsule for my inner child

24 years young.
They ask me how I am and I answer: “I am but 24 years young.”
Living out my second childhood with the inner child
who is unlearning all the unhealthy coping mechanisms and internalized toxic behaviours
from my first childhood,
and learning to exist imperfectly,
living for the little things in life:
the went-sledding-and-laughter-rumbled-from-my-belly-button-to-the-tip-of-my-toes-and-then-all-the-way-up-to-my-crow’s-feet-when-I-fell-off-the-sled moments;
the it’s-foggy-outside-and-the-roads-are-empty-so-we-can-take-eerie-photos-in-the-middle-of-the-road-and-not-worry-about-passing-cars moments;
the watched-grandpa-fill-seltzer-bottles-with-soda-in-his-now-closed-soda-shop moments;
the it’s-the-last-day-of-2021-and-the-bright-blue-sky-is-ablaze-with-pink-orange-and-yellow-cotton-candy-clouds-so-let’s-climb-up-the-ladder-near-our-grandparents’-attic-where-they-used-to-store-hay-when-we-were-kids-to-get-a-better-view moments;
the went-for-a-walk-in-the-forest-the-day-after-New-Year’s-Eve-and-took-a-photo-of-Maya’s-cute-paw-prints-in-the-snow moments;
the had-a-spontaneous-snowball-fight-like-there’s-no-tomorrow-and-ended-up-with-bruised-butts-shins-and-knees-but-I’ve-never-felt-so-alive-in-years moments;
the let’s-tease-each-other-and-laugh-wholeheartedly-in-grandma’s-dimly-lit-room-while-she-knits-us-jumpers-and-hums-her-favourite-songs moments.

So when they ask me how I am, I answer:
I am 24 years young.
And not a day too old.

– Patricia

Petition to plain Jane

Subject: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE ALL IN SHAMBLES

Petition to plain Jane over there with the wounded inner child

To whom it may concern,
(you know very well who you are)

It has unfashionably late come to my attention
That the precarious conditions in which plain Jane’s inner child has grown
Are, simply put, outrageous.

23 years of
self-scrutiny,
self-hatred and
feelings of personal inadequacy
with no ounce of self-compassion
while your inner child cowers away in the least tainted corner of your mind,
suffering through your self-victimization episodes
—no matter how seemingly valid—
have been more than enough.

I, the undersigned,
therefore request immediate measures be taken
to ensure the safety of the aforementioned child.

Should necessary measures fail to be immediately implemented,
I reserve the right to file a complaint with the child protective services.

Signed,
Get yourself together already before you turn into a Jane Doe
Plain and simple
Jane