In the event that I should undergo the tedious process of “growing up,” I want you to do a few things for me:
Hold a vigil for my child self under a canopy of vibrant leaves. Make sure my teddy bears, delimbed dolls, and prissy pillow cases are in attendance. Perform of eulogy lamenting how I was “that kind of child” with “these kinds of habits.” Build up a skewed image of my round cheeks and shy demeanor. The way I laughed and played with a careless abandon that the most adult-like adults secretly envy.
Forget the monster I sometimes was when I didn’t get my way, the crocodile tears that streamed down my cheeks in foul tempers. The violence of a quivering lip, balled fist, and flailing limbs. The pink and reds that overtook my face that reminded you of ripe tomatoes.
Burn a candle for each of the years that I managed to evade the looming specter of adulthood. Each candle should have a unique name. Candle one should be Drool. Two should be Babble. Three should be Talk Too Much and so on and so forth. Watch how each candle melts away into a messy pool slowly at first, then all at once. Nothing but a wick will show that they ever were. The pool to represent that they’ll never be again.
Always remind me that the world should never be taken too seriously. There are serious adult things but concentrating on them too much will only lead to belly aches and short tempers. Nobody has much patience for either.
Tell me to avoid falling into the stream. The mercurial tides that dictate the way on should talk, the way someone should dress, the way someone should act to become the most adultiest of adults. The lake to which they lead is shallow and stagnant. Fight against these tides or camp on a bit of comfortable surf. Take in the sun and watch the stream pass. When you’re bold enough, craft a boat and chart your own path.
And most importantly, remind me that “growing up” is a continual process and comes in many varied forms. Adults come in all shapes and sizes. Like plants, they grow in their own time and some take longer to fully bloom. Most have no idea what they’re doing. Those who say they do are perhaps children in disguise, the collar of their trench coats popped high to hide their pouty cheeks.