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magical childhood playing lightsaber
Being carefree is one of the best gifts in childhood

Memories… I am six years old. I am the hero of this story. Me and my friends are inseparable. For hours we play Star Wars. Some of us are Jedi, others Sith, and some Clones. The bottom line—it is pure magic! The worst fight we all ever had was over whose sled was whose on the hill behind my house, but it did not end our friendship. I wanted to write what it was like in my head to be six years old and compare it to what I would see now.

Panning down on the neighborhood park, I fight the battle droids, deflecting lasers with my Obi-Wan replica lightsaber. My brother, Caleb, and best friend, Daniel, are beside me as we fend off imaginary droids. We then transition to “dueling” the other three boys, Michael, Jared, and Clay, who are also characters from Star Wars. In our minds we are on Christophsis from the movie The Clone Wars.

As I go on a run, I see six kids running around playing Star Wars, swinging around their colorful toy lightsabers. Being thirteen, I really do miss those days. I watch them running behind trees and pretending they have “the force.” For these boys, there isn’t a care in the world. All that matters is just them and their friends. Being carefree is one of the best gifts in childhood. I just wish it could stay, instead of going away to all of the worries of the world. As a little kid, your most scary worry is the imagined monster under the bed, which is how sometimes it should stay. As a little kid, you just want to grow up, but what you don’t realize is, as an adult you will miss it.

I battle the Sith. Neither me nor Michael will say the other one won. We will do this for hours, battling each other as Star Wars characters, pretending to have “the force.” Caleb would save the day almost every time by fending off one of the other boys. To me, my brother is my hero; he always seemed so smart. I want to be on his side so badly.

As I continue to run along the park path, I have stopped and started to really look at these six kids. They laugh and play. They battle and duel. They fall to their knees and topple over to pretend death. It brings memories flooding back, and I cannot stop thinking of my childhood when I would play Star Wars with my friends. I think about the long summer nights, when being out late was nine o’clock, not eleven o’clock.

Now we are in our X-wings, pretending to shoot at each other. Daniel, Jared, Michael, Clay, and my favorite, Caleb, run around from yard to yard, playing. Eventually, we “land” and I am captured. I am taken to an outpost where I try to escape but can’t. In the distance, however, I see my best friend, Daniel, and my brother, Caleb, coming to save me and save the day.

I keep running, watching, and listening to the boys play, and I notice how much the little boy with dark brown hair looks up to his older brother, just as I still do. I am so much older now but still feel what that play feels like. That same little brown haired boy is taken prisoner, while a friend and the boy’s brother come to his rescue. They succeed! Now all three of them run away to go hide and probably attack once again.

All this is ended by getting called home for lunch by their moms. They make plans with their four friends to meet back up to continue after lunch. Deep inside, all the while, they are hoping it is all real in another galaxy, and maybe it is.

In this galaxy, it is just six boys and some movies, and their imagination. In a galaxy far, far away, two brothers wait for Episode Seven of The Saga on December 18, 2015. On that night, they hope that, just like when they were six, it is all real. Four of the boys will go to the movie at midnight, because it was all so much more than a movie—it was days of playing. It was the greatest thing in the world.

magical childhood Luke Brolsma
Luke Brolsma, 13
Blaine, Minnesota

magical childhood Gordon Su
Gordon Su, 13
Milpitas, California