Most kids do not grasp the concept of life at a young age. As children, we have creative imaginations, and our minds are filled with curiosity: I remember flying every night with my friend in my dreams! We flew through the mountains of Candy Land and dove into the adventures of our greatest ambitions. In the morning, we would wake up and live out a whimsical fantasy filled with friends, heroes, castles, dungeons, dragons, and so much more. We’d first explore the wilderness with ribbiting toads and dirty roads! We then rode our bikes down the alley at sunrise during the hot summer days! During the day, we would build sandcastles near the bay! However, there was always that one game we played until sunset: hide and seek.
A rather basic game – but nonetheless full of adventures! Now, as we lived in a small town, hiding spots quickly became commonplace; my friend’s favorite spot was always up near the trees by the fence. However, there came a day when my friend was nowhere to be found. After searching behind bushes, up in the trees, near the backyard, by the stream, I could not find them. I realized I needed a better strategy to find my friend, but I shortly came to realize they were in a spot I least expected.
When I found them, they were lying in a hospital bed. At first, I didn’t quite understand what this meant for my friend. And soon after that, they abandoned that hiding spot, and I never saw his/her face again. At the time, I refused to stop looking, so I set out to figure out how to find my friend again. I must have been missing something, that’s all! There must be a secret map, I thought; someone should know my friend’s new, special hiding spot. After days, weeks, and months of searching, I became hopeless and discouraged, even thinking I lost the game.
The next day, I sat at the kitchen table when my mom brought me a warm cup of hot chocolate to help me figure out a new game plan. After sitting down, her words as kind as her soul set out to tell me:“ There is a possibility for every thought and imagination. So how about, instead, you Think Bigger, Dream Bigger!” Those words were important, as there was a hidden truth behind them that I learned after growing up.
I first learned I would not see my friend again, the obvious truth. I also derived another valuable lesson from my mother’s words: throughout one’s journey, you mature enough to realize that each stage of life has a different meaning. For me, after years of playing the game, “Dreaming Bigger” didn’t mean I needed to find my friend again. It was to dream and reminisce about those memories we had together! Although I will never physically see their face again, I will hold their smile at the front of my mind for many years to come! Thus, we should aspire to see the greater version of ourselves every day; this requires us to learn from our past and while dreaming bigger, in hopes for better. I dream bigger every day so that one day, I will see a brighter future for those we think about every day, fly within our dreams, and love even if they’re not around.
Hail to Kids! -Barkha Patel, Pitt’23