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You Weren't Always So Tall
We cannot wait for it to arrive
We count the days as it deliberately approaches
We dream of it when we do not have it,
But aging creeps up on the young and
Strikes before they know it.
Parents cannot avert their eyes,
Because they are too aware
Of how quickly the years pile up.
With each birthday bash a child celebrates,
All a parent can say is:
“Oh my they’ve grown so old.
Oh my they grow up so fast.”
Parents dread the determination of aging.
Children squirm to escape youth.
We all want what we cannot have.
A child turns eighteen, now you’re an adult.
You yearn for your playful years.
You miss your crayons, your naps, and
All of your toys. Once little and innocent,
Now independent and weathered.
There is no turning back. You’re gripped by
Adulthood. Parents marvel and gawk:
“Now you can sit at the grown-up table.”
But all they speak of is politics,
And when you were just a baby.
Perhaps you embrace your age, but
Like a train pounding forward, there is no deterrent.
You admire your younger siblings
As they trickle into existence.
You see yourself in them,
But they are young and you are envious.
You marvel at their accomplishments,
You gawk at their wonders,
And you imagine that they will never be crushed.
Yet age is relentless,
And soon you are the victim of
A gray hair, a wrinkle under your eye.
Children push their way into the world,
Before long you are married
And cherishing your daughter.
You may be a parent, but you’re still young.
However, your self-consolations are empty.
Vision fades, knees ache, hair recedes.
All you want is to make it go away.
Throughout your life the elderly always seemed
But now that is you.
You see what you have become,
And worse, you see what your daughter has become:
Grandparent sounds ancient.
But with those countless years comes understanding.
You embrace the passing moments,
And either way, there is no preventing them,
You are helpless to the treachery of crumbling.
Around you the world grows up,
And you smile that old age came, and
Finally, it goes.