The Carelessness of Childhood

Sometimes it feels as though time is moving too quickly; it’s already November and the months since summer’s end have been passing by faster than I can notice. The older you become, it seems as though life is a string of deadlines. When we’re children, we cannot wait for the days when we are grown and have a sense of independence; but, now that we are older, we look back on our childhood and it’s fleeting moments to remember our sense of adventure and curiosity and wish for the days to return when we played and imagined all day rather than spend it working and planning.

A poem by Lord Byron reminds me that the feelings of childhood can be renewed in adulthood, even if our childhood imaginations are lost when we begin to see the world in its entirety instead of the blissful world our parents painted for us when we were younger. In Lord Byron’s poems “I would I Were a Careless Child,” the speaker states, “how dull! To hear the voice of those/ whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power/ have made, though neither friends nor foes/ associates of the festive hour. / Give me again a faithful few/ in years and feeling still the same/ and I will fly the midnight crew/ where boist’rous joy is but a name.” in these lines, the speaker fantasizes if only he were once again a child. The speaker urges time to add to his life by giving him his childhood years back along with the feelings of adventure and exploration. The speaker continues by stating, “few are my years, and yet I feel/ the world was ne’er designed for me: / ah! Why do dark’ning shades conceal/ the hour when man must cease to be? / Once beheld a splendid dream/ a visionary scene of bliss: / truth!—wherefore did thy hated beam / awake me to a world like this?” in these lines, the speaker admits to being young, but still cannot understand the responsibility of awakening from one’s dreams to face the day in adulthood. He ponders why nightfall hides how long he has until the sun beams wake him from his dreams.

Lord Byron’s “I Would I Were a Careless Child” allows me to realize that I still hold the same views on the world as I did when I was a child; I have come to understand that the world is not as peaceful as I once imagined as a child, but I still contain the same wonder of exploring the earth and finding new places, as I do the same sense of adventure for living my life and trying new things. Although the speaker of the poem doesn’t realize it, the feelings of childhood do not get lost when we grow up; instead, they grow and make us in the people we are today. While we care about our futures, we are still careless children in our attempts to shun responsibility for a little fun every once in a while. We still seek to explore the world, to learn about humanity, and to fantasize what our futures will be like. In this sense, nothing has changed; we are still children at heart for that is the core of the adults we have become today.


~Arlinda Mulosmanaj