Slowly, it washes over you, like a wave crawling to shore: Growing up is actually heartbreaking. No one ever tells you this when you're little. They're all making plans. She's going to be a concert pianist! He's going to be a lawyer! Watch her walk. Look at her little fingers. My, how big he's getting!
So you start to buy into it. You crane your neck, try to see over the wall. It must be exciting. Everyone's looking! There's love over there, and babies and a career! Just think! All the things you could be.
You grow taller. You count the inches on the wall. You cling to your teddy bear. "Just wait, Teddy! We're almost big enough now!"
Thirteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one, more. You don't know when it happened. Suddenly, your head pokes above the wall. You see that big flat world of possibilities.
And you crumple against it and wish you never knew.
photo by Aimee Ketsdever.