Growing Up This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 17, 2010
Growing up is a strange thing. For some, it seems to come too fast. For others, it doesn’t seem to come soon enough.

In my opinion, growing up isn’t something that you can see happening to yourself. It is witnessed slowly by others over time, and eventually realized by one’s self very suddenly. Obviously physical differences can be noticed from photographs and even from your reflection, but everything else that has to do with maturity, it all seems to just hit you.

You’re walking down 4th street and suddenly you are passing the house in which you learned how to crawl, and how to talk. The beautiful front door with the mysterious stained glass window has now been replaced with a plain oak door and a swinging screen. While you’re staring into the window of the room that you used to play dolls and dress-up in, you’re wondering if the walls are still the same shade of pink. You’re looking at the spot on the porch where you used to read your books, and where you started to teach yourself to play your first guitar.

You can’t help but wonder if the front living room still has the same ceiling fan that used to scare you awake at night. Somewhere in the back room of the house, right next to the stairs, you know that (likely under several layers of paint) are pencil scratches marking every inch that your brothers and you ever grew in that house. In the back yard, there is an air conditioning unit right underneath the window that used to be your parent’s bathroom. More than likely, it’s the same one that you and your friends used to pretend was a monster. And even if you wouldn’t admit it, its loud rumbles during those summer nights used to leave you running for safety if you were in the backyard alone.

Your pace slows down and you can’t help but be a little surprised when the white picket fence that used to seem impossibly tall is now easily half your height, and the yard that once seemed like a never-ending field of soft green grass is now much smaller than you once imagine it was, back when you laid in it on sunny days and made creatures out of the clouds with your dad. The flower gardens that once bloomed by the side of the house are now cut down and filled with far more weeds than your grandmother or your mom would ever have tolerated.

The cracks in the sidewalk that used to feel like cliffs when encountered with a pair of rollerblades are now tiny and almost unnoticed underneath your sandals.

Then you see the blonde little girl playing with sidewalk chalk in your (well, now her) driveway, and you can’t help but imagine her having the same adventures that you did in the sandbox behind the back patio. Climbing the fence and laying on the roof of the garden shed, maybe her first kiss will even take place on the swing set that your dad and you built, back when you were strictly referred to as ‘his little princess.’

You can’t help but remember what it felt like to lay in that grass, and imagine that things will be like that forever.

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