Apotheosis

Big Kid by Tracy Renier ’18

I remember

When Daddy’s shoulders were the highest place on earth.

And mommy’s arms were the safest.

Criss-cross applesauce

The checks to see if I had flossed.

The tears I cried when I had lost

My favorite stuffed duck Louie.

Only being afraid of the dark,

The ghost of Christmas future,

And those little metal bolts that shocked me on the way down the slide.

Stomps that’d make my sneakers light

Not thinking about what I looked like

Mom reading magic to me each night

Plunging purple plastic pegs into a Lite Brite

Claiming the role of “secret-agent” in house

And the biggest piece of ice-cream cake

Seeing the big kids in the back of the bus and thinking

“Hey,

I can’t wait to be that big someday.”

Yeah, I remember.

Mom,

Would you please stop calling me ladybug?

I’m not a kid anymore.

War isn’t a card game anymore.

Stupid isn’t the only S word anymore.

I can’t look in the mirror and like what I see

Without makeup, anymore.

And don’t worry.

I won’t wake you up at 5AM on Christmas anymore.

Shiny bikes turned to shiny cars

Soda turned to vodka

Race means more than who can run the fastest.

Don’t even think about getting a slice of ice cream cake.

Weight means more than a requirement for an amusement park ride.  

Dear 6th grade best friend,

You never used to go to parties

Or get drunk

Or get high

Higher than daddy’s shoulders.

I’m sorry, who are you?

Have we met?

Should I join, too?

My head is an echo chamber of voices

But which one is mine?

I never used to have to prove myself

But now,

I’m trying to prove myself to everyone

But myself.

Tell me,

Am I a big kid yet?

I’m eighteen years old.

And I remember when I wanted to be.

But now,

Now I can’t remember why.

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