[Copic markers and pencil on paper. 9 in by 12 in. Illustrated by Katharen Hedges.]
Peter Pan Was Right
There’s this panda, you see…
I’m not really sure where it came from but it kinda just protects me from the dark…
While I sleep and dream of nothing, it’s fighting the makers of scary shadows and keeping the snarling, drooling monsters that reside under my bed at bay.
Just because I’m a young adult I can’t be scared of monsters anymore?
Do we automatically drop anything from our childhood when we turn a certain age?
You see, my love of footie pajamas, disney, and the fact I still believe in fairies DOES NOT give you the right to tease me.
“Oh my god, you believe in fairies? Sorry to break it to you but they’re just something that you tell to little kids and you’re in freaking high school, GROW UP ALREADY!”
My fear of monsters under the bed waiting patiently to strike out and grab my ankle DOES NOT give you permission to make fun of me.
“Ooooh, Lexie’s scared of moooonnsterrrs! What a BABY!!”
You see, just because I’m growing up, DOES NOT mean I have to GROW UP.
When I go to the park with my sisters, you bet your derriere I’ll be on the swings or playing in the sand.
When I’m hanging out with my little brother, you’ll find me with the megablock legos.
Oh and if you happen to be at the South Point Barnes and Nobles, I’ll most likely be at the Thomas the Train track they have set up in the “kiddie” section.
Look, just because I like hot wheels and watch Sofia the First, that’s not your opportunity to say, “Act your age.”
I mean, I may be a teenager but I’m really a freaking 5 year old that happens to be 5’7.
So I’m sorry, not sorry, if you find my love for being a child offensive to your maturity but I would like to have an imagination.
An imagination that gives me the awesome ability to make a whole world out of sidewalk chalk where the streets are blue and the houses are flat but once you step into the colored square you’re transported.
And in the ocean, all you have to do is draw a surfboard, step on it, and BAM!
You are now surfing high on a wave, being totally gnarly dude.
I can be whatever I want, do whatever I want, CREATE whatever I want.
I mean, I was never very good at art but with my imagination I don’t need those awesome skills to paint a picture, I just need an idea. Like…
Tieing a winnie the pooh comforter around my neck to be a superhero cape transforming me into Sergeant Pooh Bear that teaches a SuperHERO class to my siblings who also have blanket superhero capes and superhero names like Super Rose, Super Sunflower, and Super Duck and they are learning how to save the world, instead, of just New York City.
Simple and crazy fun at the same time.
Now I still do what the adults classify as “teenager-y”.
I hang out with friends, I swoon over who I think is the ‘one’, I sleep a lot, and eat a lot, I’m on my phone a lot, my room is usually messy, and just stuff that teenagers “supposedly” do.
I can be mature and still a child at heart… it’s not a big deal, okay?
Just because I like to wear my pajamas all day,
Doesn’t mean that I won’t “adult-up” for an interview.
Just because I get REALLY excited when I’m in the toy aisle because I mean have you seen those ultra Barbie dream houses!?
Doesn’t mean that I don’t get REALLY excited when we have to buy kitchen stuff but who WOULDN’T get excited about those frosting tubes that make flowers…on cupcakes…WITH FROSTING
Cause if you haven’t noticed, I get excited for those kind of things.
So don’t ask me,
“What are you? Like, 12?’
Cause I’ll just say,
“Yeah, on a scale of 1 to 10.”
My first word was…
My first understandable word was…
Not too incredible I know, billions of other slobbering babies have said the very same syllables that passed my non-existing teeth.
And even though my first word was pretty predictable and not as cool as saying “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”,
I’m proud of the two syllables that floated from my drooling mouth.
Momma. Mommy. Mom. Mother.
I use them, as do many many many many many many others, on a daily basis.
My mom is MY WORLD.
If I’m scared I’m not calling GhostBusters.
That monster under my bed is gonna get his scary butt kicked by my momma.
And when the fiery thoughts burning in my mind are filling me with an uncontrollable rage,
It’s not going to get doused by a fire extinguisher,
No it’ll be my mother smothering me in kindness and mushy gushy talk that’ll save me from burning alive.
When my reflection taunts me with thoughts of how unbearably hideous I am,
Punching every reflective surface to shards is only going to hurt my hand so
My mom is the one that stares me in the eye and says, “Honey Bunches, you are BEAUTIFUL.”
As soon as my mind is infected with a depression darker than the bottom of the Pacific
You won’t be able to just dump me in some therapists office cause they DO NOT have
My mommy’s magic you-can-cry-on-me shoulder mixed with probably the BEST HUGS IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
When my dreams twist into a terrifying, cold-sweat, waking up screaming nightmare,
Sleeping with the lights on won’t help much, so my mom is the one to rock me to sleep and tell me it’s okay and that it was all a dream.
Simply put, I think my mother is amazing.
She’s been there ever since I opened my eyes,
Ever since I tried to crawl and walk,
Ever since I started to grow into the person I am,
Ever since I became me, she’s been there.
When I’m at home, I can be myself.
I don’t have to worry about my mom judging, disapproving, or disowning me.
I just have to worry about whether or not I like dinner, which, usually I do.
You know, I never thought it was even humanly possibly to love someone so much…
But apparently it is VERY possible.
You see, for me, home isn’t where the heart is,
Home is where my mom is.