I was a dreamy little kid. During the day, you could find me spaced out and staring at the wall instead of doing my work. Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, I would wander off into a daydream. It was at night, though, that really sparked my imagination. I'd stare out my window and watch the stars and occasional blink of an airplane, and trace the shadows the lawn lights made on the trees with my hand.
    I can close my eyes now and still see what I used to see as a kid. I can practically imagine being 8 years old in my pink-striped nightgown, watching what I saw everyday turn into something completely different in the night. I would stay up until the wee hours just watching, watching, watching.
    One of my clearest memories is when I was in a phase that I was terrified of being alone at night. And by that I don't mean alone in my room. I mean alone in the sense that no one in the world was awake except for me. It was a pretty terrifying idea for a little bugger like me. If I tilted my head at just the right angle, at the farthest left corner of the window, I could see lights.
    A church, I decided. It must be a church that's open all night long, full of people and priests and prayers. I'm not alone, I realized. No matter how late at night it is, that church is still big and bright, so I must not be alone. I later learned at 11 years old that it wasn't a church, but the city lights sparkling from a distance. I would still occasionally stare out the window fondly, though, remembering and savoring the innocence of the little kid I once was.
    Ah, childhood.
    I now look out a different window to see the night now. As age has struck me, everything looks...different. It's the worst feeling, for everything to be different. And even though I'm living in a completely different place, in a different city, in a different state, everything didn't look quite the way it used to. The stars didn't shine as bright, and the shadows didn't seem quite right.
    What a terrible feeling.
    It all changed last night. I was sitting up in my bed when I realized that I was thirsty. Not thinking clearly, I decided to use the bathroom down the hall and fill my glass fromt he sink there.  As I went into the connecting room that led to it, I hazily looked out the window, and almost fell over.
    Suddenly, I was my 8 year old self again, staring at the same sky I saw so many years ago. The shadows, the stars, the sky, everythign that I had been missing fromt he night was suddenly back. I lay down on the couch and just stared at the sky that I had forgotten how to see, and cried.
    I know, I know.
    I'm a total sap.
    But the point I'm trying to make is that my childhood isn't completely gone. It never was, and never will be. I had just forgotten what it was like to look, to really look at the night sky. And for just half an hour, I was able to look at it the way I once did once more. When I finally got back to bed, I fell asleep almost instantly. What I had lost now was found. 
    I w
 


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