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Saturday, June 26, 2010


Stretching towards the world,
The child looks to the future--
Mother smiles and waits.

Reaching up her arms,
The child grows tall and stronger,
Learning day by day.

Rushing at her goal,
The child is near adulthood
Ready soon to fly.

Mother smiles on,
So worried, yet so, so proud--
Her baby is strong.

Takeoff is anon
Coming to a beginning
Now she'll test her wings.

Mother flies along,
Watching her daughter's first flight,
Ready to encourage.

I wrote this haiku-style poem during camp last week. I'm currently attending an (AMAZING!) four-week acting camp, but during camp we get plenty of chances to try our hands at other art forms like poetry, jewelry making, mask making, etc. During this mini-haiku class I wrote several poems, but this one was my favorite. It just seemed to flow out of me.
In one month, I will be turning eighteen. I will be an official adult. I could get my own apartment if I wanted to, or apply for a full-time job. And after writing the poem above, I started really thinking about my eighteenth birthday and what it symbolizes. It's just a number. 18. One decade plus eight years.
This time last year, I was looking forward to my seventeenth birthday. I remember looking at my mom last July 29th and saying, "You know what's weird? This time next year, I'll be eighteen." And it was weird. I couldn't imagine that there were only three hundred and sixty-five days until I was an adult.
Now, with only thirty-three days left, the idea of being a grown-up isn't quite so bizarre. What changed? Why am I ready to face the world as an adult now when I wasn't ready eleven months ago?
Well, for one thing, this time last year I'd never had a speaking role onstage. I was still caught up in a difficult friendship that was on the brink of collapse. I hadn't decided what college I wanted to go to. I knew I wanted my career to be theatre-related, but I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do.
Now, eleven months later, I've been in four shows (currently I'm playing the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland Jr., my first main role!) and I've stage managed, assistant directed and helped on six others. I've learned what real friendship is and I'm smarter and stronger for my bad experience last year. I have a good S.A.T. score and am about to apply for the college of my dreams. I'm prepared for a long career as a high school drama teacher.
And I've realized something important: 18 really is just a number. On July 29th I will be an official adult, but emotionally, I'm already there.

Soaring together,
Mother and daughter equal,
Flying now as friends.