Monday, December 20, 2010

Why I Write for Children, Part I

The stage is clear. The microphone is ready. The girl, in second or third grade, stands there in a black shirt, ripped-up jeans, and high-heel black boots. The music starts. She shakes, she shimmies, she moves around from stage left to stage right, back and forth, clearly mimicking the rock star du jour, strutting and prancing.

My heart aches for her. Be ten, little girl, be ten. Exchange those high-heel boots for mary janes. Take off the ripped jeans and don overalls. Spend your time climbing trees instead of memorizing bad pop lyrics. Play with your dolls. Write a letter to Santa. Stay young while you can. Don't wish away your childhood. Before you know it, you'll grow up.

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