"What makes a grown up?"
"Your still a child." "I'm like 18 and stuff. I'm a grown up"
My mother looks at me with a look that is between amusement and that mode where I can't tell what she is thinking. I am standing with my arms crossed, looking straight to her eyes expectantly. I remember saying this to my mom at least a dozen times since I turned 18 in February. Well...at least since I was 14 too, except it was phrased: "I'm 13 now, mom...I'm 14 now, mom..." along these line.
I feel like I should be a "grown up", but I don't what a "grown up" is supposed to do, or even be. It seems like it is someone who assumes responsibility, someone who pays the bills, take care of the children... (and everyone else around them, or is that only woman...?) Ah, I don't know. Something like that.
I get so many mixed messages about what a "grown up" is really supposed to be.
Responsibility. School work. Work. O.k....
But then I hear of all of these other woman who have had it so much harder, who have had to endure so much more just before their even 18. (In the USA, 18 is accepted as legally an adult.) A time when thoughts are still developing. Before they are confidant enough to say anything without fear of displeasing someone...at least in my experience. They are inside a world that is their "reality".
*9 year mothers who are already on their way to having their 2nd child...
(Mother of a child and she is a child herself. So this is a grown up...)
*16 who are faced with the decision of motherhood or abortion...adoption.
(But even then abortion is not even HER choice. It is not "moral" apparently to some, and her parents have to be informed in some states, before she even considers the abortion. In this case, I'd say that she's an adult, but not mature enough to make her own descriptions that she'll have to live with the rest of HER life...?)
*12 who help take care of all the brothers and sisters because the parents have to work all day.
*Children who help out in the fields to supply the world with chocolate, never getting an education.
So, tell me, what makes a grown up?
Apparently, circumstance makes a grown up a grown up, not age.
I feel a fire inside of me that this is happening somewhere, out there in the big, big world.
I feel that we have to change this, so woman and children can have a childhood. A place where they can grow into themselves, a place where they can laugh and play and the world isn't a giant, scary place to be afraid of, but a positive, balanced place that should be encouraged to explore and grow, to make mistakes and cry. Where you don't have to be so strong all the time. A place you can just have fun.
A childhood. ...or, hey...even into our adult life while we are at it? Ha ha ha...
The world seems to be such a dark places sometimes, and it is sometimes. But...I know as sure as you are reading these words right now, that it will change. For the better.
Thanks for listening.