I'm growing fonder of my staff; I'm growing dimmer in my eyes; I'm growing fainter in my laugh; I'm growing deeper in my sighs; I'm growing careless of my dress; I'm growing frugal of my gold; I'm growing wise; I'm growing-yes, - I'm growing old.
Growing up is difficult. Strangely, even when we have stopped growing physically, we seem to have to keep on growing emotionally, which involves both expansion and shrinkage, as some parts of us develop and others must be allowed to disappear... Rigidity never works; we end up being the wrong size for our world.
I used to believe, although I don't now, that growing and growing up are analogous, that both are inevitable and uncontrollable processes. Now it seems to me that growing up is governed by the will, that one can choose to become an adult, but only at given moments. These moments come along fairly infrequently -during crises in relationships, for example, or when one has been given the chance to start afresh somewhere- and one can ignore them or seize them.
They said growing up was watching your breasts grow, your waist widen and hairs sprout on your erogenous ones. You became aware of the warmness that spread in circles in your stomach when that fine boy smiled at you. But that was not growing to me. Growing up was watching Papa drift away from us, and Mama grow drastically older from frying Akara balls just to cater for our home.
September felt panic burn through her like gasoline. Why couldn't he understand her? "But I didn't [choose]! I have hardly had a chance to breathe since I got here and it's always like that in Fairyland. Everything is always happening and all at once. And I am growing up, Saturday! I am growing up and I have read books, so many books, and I know that growing up means you can't keep going to Fairyland the way you did when you were a child! Something happens to you and suddenly you have to keep a straight face and a straight line and I am afraid! I want something grand and I don't want to know what it is before it happens!
Growing old is unavoidable, but never growing up is possible. I believe you can retain certain things from your childhood if you protect them - certain traits, certain places where you don't let the world go.