In the world I am growing up in, major companies, television, and my friends all convey the same message to me; grow up as soon and as quickly as possible. Even The Disney Channel communicates this message to adolescents. From the wholesome shows I watched when I was little, to Hannah Montana, frequently kissing boys, times have changed. No one I know or see seems to want to act their age. Middle school age girls are buying extremely short skirts and as much make-up as they can from Walgreen’s so that they will not be considered a child anymore. My friends are buying fake identifications so that they too will be considered adults too. Childhood is a wonderful period in a person’s life. Everything was simple then, especially relationships. When I was little, boys were easy to understand. There was not confusion in trying to figure them out, all I needed to know was that boys had cooties and they were not fun to play dolls with. With my friends, a simple apology would solve everything and whatever I did wrong would be long forgotten. Now every conversation and event has hidden meanings, and nothing is simple anymore. Growing up too fast is never good, and I believe that people should stay as young as possible for as long as possible.
For me to achieve this, I go out of my way to jump on an especially crispy looking leaf to hear the satisfying crunch that is forced out of the leaf by my body weight. I believe in reading the books of my past to relive the simple joy I received from the giving tree, Mrs. Spider, and the who’s of who-ville. I believe in spontaneously challenging a friend to a race, and upon losing repeating to them the ancient rule that is observed worldwide: first is the worst, second is the best, and third is the one with the hairy chest. This depends on if I came in third or not.
Growing up may have the advantages of a later bed time, a license, and the money to buy as much ice cream as your stomach can take, but the rewards of staying young far outweigh any reason to grow up, except for maybe the ice cream reason.
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