GROWING PAINS I

I never believed in santa as a kid
I don’t have a story to tell about how I find out the tooth fairy isn't real
I don't know if it was because I watched too much tv
I don't know if it was because I never really had an overactive imagination
Or maybe if it was because I had an older brother who liked to give me hints on what was true and what wasn't

Like when he said that if I licked all the rocks on our porch I would get strong from all the “healthy minerals” in them
Or the time he told me that mom didn't add extra love into our favorite plate of pancakes, but rather a generous amount of butter

I remember thinking I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up, but at age six my opportunities seemed greater
I could be a dentist and a professional wrestler at the same time
At ten I could be a marine biologist but still an artist on the side
At twelve I could be a sunday school teacher and an atheist, but still run a tattoo parlor if I wanted

I have an older brother who likes to tell me what I can and can't do
Because apparently this world is going to chew me up and spit me out
Like when he said that in some places, people actually care about which bathroom I choose to pee in
Or like when he said that in some places people get screamed at to go back to their own country
At age twelve I wanted to be more than your run of the mill marine biologist
I wanted to be recognized as a male with human rights

At fourteen I know that I am not old enough to know the struggle of paying taxes or rent
I know that I am not old enough to know how to raise a child and pay for their well-being
I know that just because I listen to slam poetry and illustrate feelings that are deeper than those received from fifteen year old boys, does not make me mature
Maybe a little lame, but not deep

However, I am old enough to know how to raise a child to be comfortable in their skin
To let them know that they are their own person and that nothing defines them but what they broadcast to be their definition

I am not wise enough to know the reasoning going on in my relatives minds
But I am smart enough to know that my mother is raising me right
I know that my mom is in a correct state of mind when she tells me
Son, don’t just dance there and let fear stop you from going into a bathroom to pee
I know that when my dad tells me that I have to stop pretending to be a guy and to start acting like his daughter, that he is the one that needs to start acting like a father

I’m only fourteen and even though I’m not old enough to make all of my decisions on my own
I know who I am and what I want to be

I want to change things

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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