To Watch a Child Grow

February 10, 2010
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She rests peacefully in the pink baby stroller,
clutching her rattle with one tiny fist.
Eyes shut, oblivious.
All if safe.

Her hands guide her to all the places
her legs will take her.
She explores fearlessly the world around her,
and nothing can stand in her way.
She giggles despite her naivety.

Tiny toes in the sand,
Oh, what magic is made by the seashore!
Surrounded by sandcastles; dancing in the sunshine.
Splashing in the water,
with Mommy holding her hand.

Saturday afternoon, another tea party.
Friends and playmates cluster around the table,
sipping apple juice and sharing stories of
swing-set havoc and who can climb the monkey bars.
Conversation ceases when Mommy carries out
A tray of chocolate chip cookies;
Greedy hands pilfer the yummies.
Oh, kindergarten bliss.

“Practice your cursive,” the teacher told her.
She does as she is told, but she can’t get those
lower-case b’s.
Again and again she fails.
Tears fall as she feels the raw frustration.
She runs to her Mommy, who wipes them all away.

Her first “boyfriend”; they hold hands.
They giggle when people tell them to kiss.
He buys her plastic earrings for her birthday;
her heart does flips as she clips them on.
The next day she comes home crying, holding the
broken earrings in her hands.
And the next day she and her boyfriend decide
to be “just friends”.

Double digits; a big year.
One decade of life.
She wants to be a grown-up now.
Hope is shattered when her parents tell her no,
So she packs her backpack full of clothes
and storms out of the house.
Halfway down the street,
she feels her stomach growl.
Sighing, she turns around and heads home.

Makeup is a fascination;
pretty shades of pink and that daring blue.
Sleepovers change to makeovers,
and all the little girls look like clowns.

Preteens rule the world;
nobody gets that yet, but they will.
Fashion is the law and she must obey.
Middle school is a dangerous place.
She needs somewhere to sit at lunch and
people to gossip with.
She never wants to be alone.

His name decorates her every binder;
Over and over she vandalizes worksheets
With little hearts for him.
Oh, if only he knew her name.
Being thirteen is no easy feat.

Everything changes as she steps into the huge
high school building.
She wiggles her hips as she struts down the hall
in her awkward high-heels.
She desperately hopes someone will notice her,
But something tells her no one is looking.

Her first steady boyfriend, they’ve been
going for six months.
She lets him wrap his arm around her waist,
and shamelessly kisses him for everyone to see.

The letter of acceptance comes in the mail;
everyone is ecstatic.
Congratulations fill her head,
and tears of joy fall to the ground
All is well.

Oh, to watch a child grow.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

figure hockey girl said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm
Really good poems and it takes alot for me to like a poem
delilahsky This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm
Awww thank you.
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