When I was 2 my sister was born and I was no longer a baby.
When I was 4 my brother was born and by then I could change a diaper.
At 8 people always said how mature and grown up I was, what a help, a second set of hands.
And I believed them.
When I was 16 I felt so small and so young and I had no idea
how to keep that hidden from everyone who had always said
I was so grown up.
I didn’t realize that I shouldn’t have to hide
that the maturity I thought I had was a performance
put on for an audience who wanted to believe.
When I was 18 I thought being grown up meant
I could take care of myself,
that I could go through pain and hurt and heartbreak
and not tell a soul.
If I could take care of myself then I was an adult and being an adult meant
not needing help from my parents or anyone.
At 22 I started to learn.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone
I still felt shame
but I knew it was true.
When I was 22 I desperately wanted someone,
to help me.
To let me know I was okay.
And I hated that.
I was supposed to be grown up.
When I was 23 my heart was broken
and my father held me and I cried.
My mother took my on her lap
and I sobbed for hours.
And when I was done I made myself a promise:
I wouldn’t hide from needing someone.
That I wouldn’t pretend I had everything under control.
I never thought I’d feel the most grown up
the day I learned
to ask for my mom.