Let Them Grow

A Summer Dream (Written August15, 2015)

Just for a space, just for a breath,
Though they don’t have any childhood left,
Even then, for this moment, just let them pretend
That those glorious years will never end.

College is coming, or a job, or a career,
For some of them it’s already here,
But they forget in the sunshine, in the work, in the sweat-
For their last summer they have they’re allowed to forget.

They’re on the edge, they’re on the brink,
They’re about to find out if life is what they think.
They’re wondering if it will be like it seems-
Allow them their last carefree summer dreams.


So, with the next school year coming up, and my house having multiple school teachers and multiple students living in it, the discussion of various students maturity or lack thereof has begun to come up. Things like: ‘I hope Bob grew up over the summer, cuz I’m sick of him ruining choir class.’ or ‘Does Billy really behave in class like he has been during summer tutoring?’

This got me thinking.

I think there is definitely a problem in the world today of people just never growing up. Everybody has their own theories for why this is and how we can fix it. I think their are two problems, either of which leads to the same thing:

1) We never expect maturity or responsibility out of kids growing up, but then expect them to totally have their act together the second they graduate.

2) We allow kids to pretend at being adults from an early age, either by allowing them to dress and behave as if they are full grown adults when they are in fact 8 (or 12, or 14); or by pressuring them with duties and responsibilities that they shouldn’t have to handle by themselves yet.

We either let them think they never have to grow up, or we let them pretend/ force them to accept that they already have when they in fact have not. I think it’s an issue of not understanding that a kid needs to be properly prepared for the responsibilities and whatnot of being an adult, without forcing or allowing them to think that they already are.

Watching my little brother panicking as he gets ready to leave home this fall has had me thinking about this a lot. He’s always liked being included with the adults. Now he’s realizing he never got to be included with the kids, and he’s trying to make up for it. I feel like I’ve been seeing this happen a lot lately. So, maybe if we want adults who behave like adults, we should encourage kids to be good kids and enjoy their childhood properly.


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