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Growing Up Too Fast This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Do you remember how old you were the first Christmas morning you woke up and wantedto go back to sleep? If you were like me, you knew what was coming. There was nomystery about whether there would be presents under the tree, or if Santa hadwritten a note and eaten the cookies. Knowing what to expect, it was just anotherday of vacation.

Sleep seems hard to come by as you get older. Withhomework, more responsibility and even a job, if there's no alarm buzzing, nobus, no teachers, just the satisfaction of lying still for a moment, you give inno matter what. My parents used to do this on Christmas morning, and I neverunderstood why. Now I do. This is one of those defining moments when you know youare losing your childhood innocence.

It seems children want to grow out oftheir childhood; they dream of being adults. When you go to a toy store, what doyou see? Usually mini versions of items used by adults. There's play money andcash registers, toy trucks and cars; everything you could think of to make achild feel mature. It's almost as if they're rushing their lives along. My cousinis ten years old and his mind is set on one thing - wanting everything now. Kidsare impatient when it comes to the future. To them, it seems like so much fun,and so far away.

Teens want time to move faster so they can get theirlicense and be able to vote. When you were four, did you rush your parents outthe door to the movies so you could snag the good seats? No, most likely you werepreoccupied with trying to tie your shoelaces. Little kids aren't caught up inthe hustle and bustle of our instant-gratification society.

I think thelast few years of childhood are those spent at high school. Your parents stilltake you everywhere, curfews are set, and sometimes your mom sneaks a love noteinto your lunch. Once you hit college, you know that everything will effect therest of your life. For some this responsibility is exciting, for others it'sscary, but hold onto your memories that remind you not to make life toocomplicated or stressful. And don't grow up too fast.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Sept. 1, 2014 at 3:04 am
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