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Your teachers and parents held your hand
As you tip-toed though the gentle waters
That merely lapped up at your feet,
But never dared knock you down.
The years of learning your ABC’s and your 1, 2, 3’s.
Your classes were made up of 22 kids or so,
Each one you considered a friend
Even if they did smell like rotten eggs,
Or couldn’t throw the ball furthest in gym class,
Or had once stolen a Magic Marker from you.
Everyone was friends.
The years of free recess,
Lunches packed by mommy
Including a note wishing you a good day
And your favorite fruit snacks.
Everyday was thrilling
With either a new game you played in class
Or some sort of school event
Like the Fun Run and Field Day.
Your homework consisted of
Coloring the triangle red and the circle blue,
Your times tables,
And learning types of rocks.
Your teachers and parents nudged you this way or that
As you tried to guide yourself though the tremulous waters,
That tripped you up every once in a while,
And made you slow down for a minute,
regain your strength, and continue on.
The years of social drama and
the very beginning of “career”-guided choices.
They were the years of change
For better or worse.
The years in which you were in a “group”
And your group would not dare talk to that group
Because of that one thing,
That one time,
In that one place.
Everyone was not friends with everyone anymore.
We had forgotten to forgive and forget.
These were the years of school dances
Where it was really just a foolish frenzy
Of gossip and tween drama.
Everyday was confusing and long, but interesting
With having to learn how to deal with
The nonsense that surrounded you.
Your homework consisted of
Learning what variables were,
These x’s and y’s that had numerical values,
Reading Huckleberry Finn,
Finding what those tiny little cells in your body consist of.
Your teachers and parents let you fall and make your mistakes
As you try to get through the wild rapids,
As you smacked face-first into the icy, spray of water,
Knocking the air out of you,
But you weren’t given a second to stabilize yourself.
You were on the move.
The years of applications, AP courses, and the beginning of adulthood.
They were four years that seemed like a lifetime,
As you decided what career to pursue,
What college to go to,
What to believe,
Who to become.
These were the years where drama “settled”.
You learned to act more like an adult,
While others still wallowed in a middle school mindset,
Couldn’t let go of the past,
Or thought they could leap into an “adult” party-hardy attitude.
Little did they know,
They were the most childish of them all.
We were not all friends.
It was impossible first off because
of the 600 plus students in a single grade.
But we also decided that it was easier to be safe
In our clique, with our people, of our “kind”.
Everyday was exhausting
With work, sports, and the pounds of homework.
Homework consisted of
Derivatives and limits,
Shakespeare and nonfiction.
The experience of being alive.
The experience of being anyone.
The experience of being unstoppable.