I turned 20 in October and a couple of weeks ago something hit me: I may have lived a fourth of my life already. It’s scary because it means that life is going to change. I’m going to have to get a job and I won’t have a lot of spare time on my hands. Life is about to take me on a new journey, one that requires me to leave something that I have treasured all my life: childhood.
I’m going to miss the times when I could go to school and come home and throw football, shoot hoops, and play video games.
I’m going to miss the times when my brother and I “made” our own video company, Neral Productions, and we made the funniest videos, whether it be making funny faces and noises, or commentating while we were gaming. We made commercials, movie trailers, and war reenactments.
I’m going to miss the times when we made our own TV show, The Huntman. I remember we went to the nearby thrift store and bought army jackets for the show. We never wrote anything down. We had no scripts. We just said, “Camera! Action!” and went with it. One of us would put on our army jacket and carry around our cap-gun rifle and pistol. We looked up cryptozoology, the study of mythological creatures, on the internet, looking for what we were going to “hunt” next and also remembering key facts to share with our “audience” on the show.
I’ll remember the time when we found an old ATV trail and followed it for hours, looking for new locations to film. Eventually we came to a street we had never seen before and discovered we had just gone in a huge circle.
I’ll remember the times when we went to the church parking lot near our house to play hockey, one of us flailing in front of the net trying to make save after save, the other wristing shot after shot and the ball refusing to go in, us both dying of laughter all the while just because of the pure stupidity and hilarity of it.
I’ll remember the times when we threw football together, I myself making some sick throws and my brother making these ridiculous catches, us joking that we should set up a camera to capture our practice sessions and send them in to the high school coach.
I’ll remember the times when my dad would take my brother and I to hit baseballs and the two of us would have our own home run derby where a home run was if the ball landed past the infield dirt.
I’ll remember the time when we got a GameCube and I put in MLB Slugfest 2003. My dad had not gotten the chance to play it yet although I had. I told him all the basic controls and we started playing. When my dad got his first single and got to first base, I started punching his player in the face because in this game you could do that. Somehow I had forgotten to mention that part and my dad started howling, the hardest I’ve ever seen him laugh in my entire life, turning the reddest shade of red a human can turn without being a ginger.
I’ll remember all the things that my mom did for me, taking me to speech therapy and specialists to help with my early development issues. I’ll remember all the help she gave me with my homework through elementary school, all that she taught me about life and the advice she gave and continues to give, all the lunches she packed for me and most of all, the genuine care, kindness, and love she showed me every day of my life even when I didn’t deserve it.
If I have one regret, it’s that I couldn’t live it all again. My brother and I found some of the Huntman episodes and watched a few and got bored with them pretty quick. “Wow, these aren’t nearly as good as I remember them being,” I said. Then a thought struck me. It wasn’t about how good they were. It was about the fun we had making them.
While I’ll have to say goodbye to my younger self and I do so unwillingly, I take comfort in the fact that I will see him again and that the people that were a part of it are still with me today. I know I will see him again, because it only takes one second to come up with an illogical, uneducated, and stupid-in-all-senses-of-the-word idea, to relive it.
That and a video camera.