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For as long as I can remember, I could not wait to grow up. Being a kid was fun, but being an adult was extravagant. Adults could do whatever they pleased. They didn’t have to ask permission, and could go wherever they wanted.
They had enough money to buy everything they desired and going to work must have been better than going to school. I wanted to be just like them. I wanted to be an adult, and I didn’t want to spend 18 years being a kid.
I was four years old when I first believed I should be treated like an adult. After sitting in my playroom contemplating life, I walked to the living room and asked my father a question. I looked him straight in the eye and requested his permission to run away. His smile immediately faded and he quickly ushered my mother to his side. I guess my four-year-old mind did not understand that running away was not something you ask your parent’s permission for, nor was it the same thing as moving out.
So while I sulked back to my playroom and continued to watch “Arthur,” I concluded that maybe another day I would finally be old enough to “run away.”
As I grew older and exchanged friendship bracelets with my best friends, plastered posters of Dylan and Cole Sprouse on my wall and discussed the upcoming episode of “That’s So Raven” on my telephone in the living room, I decided that even though I was only 11 years old, I was pretty much already grown up.
I tried to convince my parents I was old enough to go to the mall and watch PG-13 movies by myself and left in a huff when they said I was not, in fact, old enough and they would be accompanying me.
I wanted to straighten my hair, and wear makeup and shop in the junior’s department at the mall. I craved to hang out with the bigger kids and hated when I was brushed off as a mere child. I hated when I was seated at the kid’s table during Thanksgiving, as the adults told jokes and discussed scholarly issues. I was chagrined when I had to wait for my parents to pick me up because they didn’t think I was ready to drive by myself.
All I wanted was to be older and feel grown up. Life would be more exciting and lavish if I was older. I would be able to do as I pleased and not have to worry about anything. And somehow, maybe if I were older, it would make me feel more important.
My parents always told me not to wish my childhood away — that being grown up is not all it’s cracked up to be and someday when I’m grown up I’m going to wish I was a kid again. However, after every warning, I simply smiled and nodded my head in agreement but deep down I was still unsure.
Yet as I sit at my desk, staring at a multitude of thick SAT workbooks and piles of homework while seeking an ounce of motivation to do my work, I wish I took my parent’s advice to heart. For years all I wanted was to be grown up and now that I’ve almost reached that time, I wish I could be a kid for a little bit longer. I wish that I could spend my whole weekend brushing my Barbie’s hair and playing games with my sisters. I wish I could ride my bike during the summer, and not have to worry about any type of responsibility whatesoever.
It seemed like I was a little kid forever and a teenager for the shortest amount of time. Childhood has passed in a flash and even though I spent an entire 17 years of my life having fun and gaining wonderful memories and experiences, I wish that it could last just a little bit longer.
by Jacqueline LeBlanc