My Thoughts About My Childhood with Dora the Explorer Haircut

Two is a very important age. At this time, a child begins to show more independence and gains the ability to express their own feelings. It is a new chapter in the grand book of life as children learn to feed themselves, run, interactively play with others, and group words together, rather than just make sounds on their own. But what has come to concern me is why this year of development is so often referred to as “terrible”? Because, is it really? I have come to believe that this term is in the improper place.

As I reflect back on my time as a child at this very age, it has brought me to the realization that two was not so terrible after all.

Whenever I am having a bad day or simply want to crack a laugh or a smile, I like to look back at old photographs and remember the good old days. These scrapbooks filled with photographs remind me of how much I have grown as a person.

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From a toddler to the teenager I am today, they show me that I am not the same person as I was back then. Just think, little rectangular pieces of paper with some ink on them have the power to freeze the best and worst times and the most joyful and miserable feelings. They can encapture a sunset on a sweet summer's evening in a tropical island, unite families at yearly gatherings, depict or even simply embrace the beauty of nature.

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They can show us views from space, deep sea creatures, and landscapes from the other side of the world.

Photographs have the ability to portray true meanings behind events, and help us see things that may not be typically noticed by the human eye otherwise. As I was reminiscing about my past, I came upon one particular photo that stood out to me, in which I was undoubtedly happy. When I look back on this picture, I just adore the whole scene. I am sitting on a slide that was part of my swingset in my backyard about to go down, with the bright sun beaming down on my face. With my chubby cheeks, tanned skin, and Dora the Explorer haircut, I am dressed in butterfly-covered overalls with a white ruffled shirt underneath that my mom had just helped me put on that morning. Someone is waiting behind me and another person is at the bottom of the slide to make sure I did not fall off.

The same person who was behind me helped me up the stairs. After conferring with my mother, I found out that this was the first day I went down the slide by myself and just so happened to be my birthday as well. Filled with excitement and delight on this very special day, I am shining a bright smile. Since the time this photograph was taken, I have gained so much knowledge from my experiences and I have grown into the person I am today. My family has changed through times of health and sickness but I still smile my way through all of it, just as I did in this picture. Never would I had imagined that my mom would be nearly paralyzed or that my family would be on the brink of homelessness. I have witnessed my mother’s tears. I have witnessed the looks from strangers she got as I wheeled her around town. I have witnessed the secret conversations. I heard the sounds of the ambulances rushing to our house so much it feels routine.

But through it all, I most importantly witnessed the kindness of others. The kindness of people who would give us rides to and from home, of people who brought us meals, of our family friend who bought our home from us, allowing us to live there, so we would not be living on the streets. These people helped me through these tough times. These were the people who kept me smiling. Similar to the noiseless photograph itself, I am quiet. I was not a loud child. I did not know many other kids when I was two, so my twin brother and I were best friends. We had a special bond that no one could ever replace. If he felt sad, I felt sad. If he was happy, I was happy. Our relationship was, and still is unbreakable. We used to play on our the swing set all the time. My brother Jonah and I would play for hours outside.

Our parents would practically have to force us inside just so we could eat our dinners. It was a place we could use our imaginations, where our creative minds were embraced, with no one to tell us otherwise. Some days the ground would be lava, others we were on a pirate ship at sea, or we would be superheros in our super secret headquarters. But as years past and we got older, busier, and more independent our swing set was left there being unused in the silence: forgotten and diminished. Smiling has become a part of who I am. Some people have even pointed out to me that I do it too much. Whether I am in the middle of running sprints in ninety degree weather or opening up a much desired Christmas present, the expression is constantly there. Even though I smile my way through the hurdles life brings forth, I struggle with change and the unexpected.

As I grew older, unwanted surprises seemed to bombard me everywhere I turned, like ads popping up on a smartphone. I miss not having to worry about the future and not being overwhelmed with the forces of responsibility. I miss not caring about the opinions of others and not feeling the wave of pressure trying to suck me into the tide. I miss the good old days where I would spend every waking moment I could outside. They were times before technology swept our generation and took over my life. I would be out in my backyard making snow angels and igloos one day and another I would be playing marco polo in my swimming pool. I miss being out there from sunrise to sunset and I miss the sparkle in my eyes that came with it.

The little two year old girl in this photo will forever be a part of me. Since, I have learned to feed my brain, run without looking back, build lasting friendships (beyond my brother), and use my voice to present who I am. Even though I may need guidance while climbing up the ladder of life’s journey, I will continue to smile on my way down and reflect on how life is not so terrible at all. 

Updated: Mar 26, 2022
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My Thoughts About My Childhood with Dora the Explorer Haircut. (2022, Mar 26). Retrieved from

My Thoughts About My Childhood with Dora the Explorer Haircut essay
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