“She’s growing up too fast.”
A sentiment that is typically said by a loving mother who walks her toddler into the first day of pre-school or waves goodbye as her teenager leaves the house in a glittery prom dress.
But how unfortunate it is for the girls who truly did grow up too fast.
The girl whose doe eyes flinch when someone else snatches their rose colored glasses.
the pre-mature bloomers.
Nothing is quite as tragic as a child who is forced to bear adult problems.
I often grieve for my childhood self.
I ache for the girl who was told in her first year of public school that she was “ugly” and deprived of any connections in those gloriously awkward years.
I ache for the girl who went on her first date at 15 and the older boy put his hands places she’s never been touched before.
She froze under his gaze but the lasting thought was,
I’m uncomfortable, but he must really like me?
But ultimately, she learned a very terrible lesson that day.
No does not mean no, really.
And it took many, many years for her to unlearn it.
I ache for the girl who was so desperate to receive love, that she gave it away freely to the worst people.
I ache for the girl who didn’t know any better.
She had no reason to distrust anyone,
no reason to lock her window at night.
Oh how terribly wrong she was.
Reader, I want you to try something with me really quick.
I want you to take 30 seconds and imagine a world where there is no danger, no person who would ever harm you, adults have all the answers, and there’s no need to even ponder “trust” because you would never have a chance to lose it. Everyone has the best intentions. Everyone loves each other. No life is above another.
This was our reality at some point. I will say, maybe not everybody.
But we’re not born with distrust in our hearts.
There was a point in time when we had faith in those older than us.
Faith that no harm would come to us intentionally
But I believe many of us can pinpoint when that belief switched on a dime.
Maybe this person does not have my best intentions at heart.
Maybe this person wants to harm me.
No matter how much our parents can prepare us for this terrible moment,
I don’t know if it’s every easily handled by the child.
I know for a fact that I did not handle it with ease.
And now I lie awake at night, petrified for any future children I may have.
How am I supposed to protect them?
How do I shield them for the ugliness of this world?
I guess you can’t.
What a terrifying thought.
This is why people over-shelter their kids, I think.
I grew up on a Utah mountain (in a cave essentially… A very nice cave, though)
And I was surrounded by very sheltered kids in high school.
We were no better off than the under sheltered kids, I believe.
My rose-colored glasses still shattered
Just the same as any other girl’s.
My story is not unique.
I used to think it was.
I used to think that I was one of the very few who had been terminally scarred at a young age.
No one could ever understand my issues or what I’ve been through.
I genuinely believed that tale,
Until I told someone my story.
“That happened to me, too last year.”
And I told more people.
“I was a little kid when it happened to me.”
“My parents didn’t believe me.”
“My church blamed me.”
and more people.
“All of my friends took his side after it happened.”
“I was told never to tell anyone.”
And I slowly collected these horrible stories, all told by people I loved very deeply.
It was shocking to me how many people have experienced an unwilling pre-mature loss of innocence.
I thought my case was “special” (a terrible kind of special, obviously)
But I was horrified when it was just another sad story from another scarred kid
I hate how much this happens.
I grieve for all of us kids who didn’t get to spend another day running through the woods,
battling magical beings with wooden swords
and playing house or capture the flag with all the neighbor kids.
I despise the resilience we all had to build up over time,
I’m thankful we have it
But I despise its origin.
I wrote this song as an ode to the part of me that I had to lay to rest way too early.
She was covered by a landslide that flattened a mountain.
She had absolutely no chance.
But now she’s “one with the earth.”
And that’s probably the best place for her to rest.
We’re all just trying to grow, creating cracks in pavement
I’m desperate to find colors that I haven’t seen since I was a homeschooled, wide-eyed kid.
But in her honor,
I’ll keep searching
I’ll keep growing.