“Tentative definition of being grown-up:
Seeing someone doing the exact same thing you did at their age and knowing that telling them that it’s a bad idea will do nothing, because it meant nothing when people told you it was a bad idea back then.” –My facebook status, a month or so back.
“Why can’t you fly now, mother?”
“Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way.”
“Why do they forget the way?”
“Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly.”
— J.M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan)
I have lost something, and I’m not even entirely sure what it is–or even if I want it back.
All I know is I can’t fly anymore.
It came upon me swiftly and at the same time, very slowly. I remember saying to myself: I’m growing up, I’m growing up. I really believed it, too. And I was happy.
And then suddenly, it happened.
I have cares. I don’t automatically assume that my parents will take care of me if things fall apart. I plan for the future. People have hurt me, and I had to stand on my own two feet and take it; I can’t hide behind my father anymore. I have been in love. I fight cynicism.
It’s true that in some ways, I still am childlike. But it’s childlike. I am not a child. I am just like one.
It hurts. I have lost something. I grieve. My childhood is over; it died.
It is good, though. Because in some ways, my childhood had to die so that I could be a woman. A seed must die before it can rise a tree.
God willing, I will be a good tree.
At the same time, though, I must let my childhood resurrect with me. I cannot forget the seed.
I may be a woman, but I must never completely stop being a child in all the best ways.
The childish heartlessness had to die in fire; but the gold of childlikeness will hopefully survive the refining.