There you go, hitting another milestone,

From rocking and rolling then crawling, now you’re levelling up to walking,

Previously done under supervision, guided by Ma or Pa’s hands or some wheelie contraption,

Time to try it unassisted, took five steps before tripping, dusted yourself off before continuing, gotta keep the momentum going,

That tiny body packed with determination and perseverance, sadly both may fade with age,

You see, Kiddo, some grow up mastering the art of quitting, giving in to fear and useless opinions,

How the hell does it happen? Sure is mind-boggling,

Not lumping ‘em all in the same box, but it gets them, seemingly, more often than not,

Not trying to scare ya, Kid, you’re still too young to get any of this,

But as long as we’re here might as well give it to you straight before you go on with the rest of your day.

Here’s you; just over a year old, still travelling through life’s early morning,

But peep at those four or five years older than you wishing they were bigger,

Grown-ups have all the freedom, they’re thinking, no bedtimes, schoolwork or pushy parents,

But the future will say otherwise, when you yourself are older you’ll realize,

Youthful fantasies turning out to be fallacies, now you’re dealing with real responsibilities,

Least of all your actions, the ripple effects could mean the difference between peace and catastrophe,

You’ll have learned to deal with scrapes to the knee, it’ll be a flesh wound, literally, compared to life’s other maladies,

Think that being the runt in the litter is a downer? Grown-ups definitely have it rougher,

Choices could mean life or death, ain’t nobody coming to save you from them, either,

Truth is, that once unquenchable curiosity could be blunted, as is that once mighty sense of adventure

For now your peers fear monsters hiding under the bed, later on the voices of doubt within their heads,

Where they were once carefree they’re more aware of their surroundings which could act as breeding grounds for overthinking, got ‘em skittish like creatures looking out for predators,

Even others’ opinions become serious business, never was a barrier between others among youngsters,

But in the grown world they’re using ‘em as weapons of mass destruction, of hazing and other methods potentially dangerous,

While the kiddies a few years ahead of you are pretending to be superheroes and all-conquering beings, their parents’ peers are ramping up the narcissism or giving in to insecurities,

Even the act of selfie-taking a whole new battleground, filters needed to gain some sort of advantage,

Social media a curse and a blessing, depending on how you use it,

Always cognizant of others, looking for strengths and weaknesses, for some it dictates their every movement when they should be staying in their lane and minding their own business,

So they end up moving cautiously, the fear of losing got them chained,

Growing up doesn’t equal total freedom, they get misty-eyed recalling their early years for a reason.

Just some thoughts that came to mind, watching you try and try again,

Setbacks inconsequential, keeping at it until you’ve mastered it, moving on if it’s mission impossible,

No tears from those eyes when it’s the latter unless you scrape a limb, time to find another option, conquer new worlds while you’re at it, it really is that simple,

Contrast that to Mom and Pops’ peers, too many of them throw in the towel too easily,

Don’t come at the writer, Folks, not all are under the same brolly,

But is it not uncommon to watch one fold by way of rage-quitting?

Whether it’s some personal project gone awry or even their own relationships?

Sure, they’re bigger, stronger and smarter but are they really braver?

You might think so since they can handle scenarios that have you hollering but in the face of failure, the unknown, their own image and others’ opinions they’re more or less cowering,

But what you and your fellow kiddos need to realize is that time, once an ally, has become an adversary,

The further along the journey, you see, the greater the knowledge of one’s immortality, some feel empowered while others feel expendable,

One false move can end it all, literally and figuratively,

Some outcomes reversible but in other situations game over,

That’s why they proceed with caution, can’t blame youth on reckless decisions,

Mom and Pops aren’t around no more to rescue them, what happens next is all up to them,

But it really shouldn’t stop ‘em from living,

From trying new things, taking up new hobbies, meeting others dancing to a different tune, maybe shoot for the stars, the sky and the moon,

Can’t jump off the pier without first assessing the depth of that water,

But waiting for too long has its costs, time squandered is time forever lost.

You need not worry about that for a while, still getting to know the world around you with a smile,

But as you get older please don’t neglect your inner child,

The pluck you’re displaying now, trying to take your steps,

Hope you hold onto it for life, use it to overcome life’s many tests,

Whatever it is you aim for, chase after it with all your might,

Success may prove elusive but if it matters you will keep up the fight,

In a few short years you might join your older peers wishing they were bigger,

To be too cool for school and rules, no one can tell them where to go and what to do,

Before you know it you’ll be there, too, one of the grown-ups you once looked up to,

The next generation are where you were at, make sure you keep those youthful fantasies intact,

Live life to the full, be bold and take chances, never mind others’ opinions, to hell with the haters, why concern yourself with the languishing and envious?

Keep trying or find something else, keep it simple, be good and soldier on forward,

They say life’s a rollercoaster, full of twists and turns,

Ride it for as long as you can, got plenty of years to burn,

Seeing that ever-smiling face of yours, only looking forward to the future,

Take it with you, Kid, never stop believing there’s always good around the corner.

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