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.

This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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