There are many reasons I don’t want to turn 18.

One, turning 18 means becoming an adult and I don’t like the way adults seem to look without seeing, inhale without breathing and hear without listening.

Two, I don’t want to finish high school and go to university,  to be honest, I never wanted to even start high school and people are expecting me to go and study after years of this repetitive, uniformed stale air in my life where all my choices were dictated to me.

Three, I don’t actually want my own choices, take them back. I don’t want to make the wrong decision, I don’t want  people to depend on me like a tree depends on the strength of the soil and the nest depends on the strength of the branch and the bird depends on the strength of its wings.

Four, I don’t have wings yet, my stiff fingers have not managed to claw through the cocoon. See they have not even made a scratch because the cocoon is nice, it protects me from student loans, jobs, rent, marriage, babies.

Five, I’m still a baby. I cry myself to sleep and when I do sleep, it is in fits of stress and calling out till someone puts me in a crib, sticks a dummy in my mouth so that my voice can not be heard, for my voice is raw and immature, it spills out inked pages groaning from the childish weight of heartbreak, recklessness, fear.

Six, isn’t to be an adult to be strong and unafraid?  Six, take me back to when I was six and the things I was afraid of were hiding under my bed or making monsters out of shadows growling on my wall. My parents could banish my fears with a flick of their watch wristed hands.

Seven, if being a grown up means wearing a watch, I’m not having any of it. Because watches remind me of handcuffs, a constant reminder that you are not free you are a slave to the time of the day. Always checking the time, checking the time means life is going far too rapidly for me to savour the way rain dances,  leaving ballerina footprints on my face, or the sound of carelessness, uncontrolled and teeming over the edge dangerously. And I can’t wish anymore upon clovers and dandelions that my days won’t roll into weeks and years of studying and working, studying and working.

Eight, most watches these days are waterproof, in case the rain soaks it or you decide to go for a 20 minute swim at the gym before a business meeting over coffee with people in suits and the same expression tattooed on their faces.  They’re protected from the feel of water, from exposure.

Nine, I don’t want to be an adult because I don’t plan on living a waterproof life but I’m afraid because I live in a world that tries to sell me umbrellas.

The above poem was written on the eve of our middle daughter Amy’s 18th birthday and contains some excellent reasons why one should not become an adult!

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Published by Noelene Curry