Day 100 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a child’s perspective on who they will become as an adult.
Shannon: When I grow up I’m going to be a veterinarian. I’m going to help sick animals at the zoo. Then I would get to spend everyday there, and it’s my favorite place in the whole world.
I would get to swim with the dolphins and hang out with the penguins. I’d even get to pet and hold some baby cubs. I’d high five the seals after making them feel better. Every day will be so different and so much fun. I can’t wait to grow up!
Erin: I don’t ever want to be that lady. She spends all of her day working. Not doing anything fun either. She just sits in her little cage, answers phone calls, groans, and hits her keyboard really hard. Then she goes home to her boring boyfriend and they cook and they eat. They watch some TV and they go to bed. The worst part of it all is when the boring boyfriend who never buys her flowers or kisses her goodnight asked her to marry him she said yes. She said yes even though he doesn’t want kids and she loves them. She said yes to boring tuna salad Sundays. She said yes to the promotion in her cage job, so they could say yes to a home with white shutters and white walls. She says yes to everyone but her true self, I wished she’d have just stopped and asked me.
Show us the future from the eyes of a child.
“Josey,” I began, lips curling deviously at the edges, “you know what I’m gonna be when I grow up?” There was an idea swimming around my head that had breached the waves of thought like a mammoth blue whale, and had become trapped on the sandy beaches of realization. But it was fragmented; having been picked clean of all details like the bones of the beast gleaming alabaster on the shore. I could feel Josey’s prying eyes digging through the carefully constructed forest in my eyes to sneak a peek at the idea. Clearing my throat, I blathered, “Well, I’m going to create things when I’m an adult; I’ll do something where I get to build things or ideas that haven’t ever been built before.”
There was so much else I wanted to say about how I saw myself in adulthood, but with just the bare skeleton, I didn’t think Josey would understand. Considering the doll’s castle that rose from the emerald floor, I giggled as the world began to fade again. All around, the carpet popped to life with waving grass and wildflowers as the bricks shifted and grew, breaking through the ceiling of my room. Before me, Josey’s tutu became a shimmering pink ball gown with a stunning diamond tiara to match.
As soon as the room ceased to shift, I began to speak, allowing the magic that flowed through them to continue the real-world alteration. “And the two princesses, Josey and Kasey wandered about the grand castle’s garden without a care in the world. They had left their silly, boring lives behind to create in their magical kingdom.”
We played in our own world for hours, perhaps even years, going on great adventures and quests to vanquish dragons and save princes in distress. But when we arrived home once again, Josey stopped to consider something and the whole world came crashing down around us like an earthquake. A magnificent whale began reeling around my head again, calling mournfully to the only one who could hear its melancholy songs. This time it didn’t breach completely, instead it simply let out a short blast of air and ocean spray.
“Josey, I already do what I want to do when I grow up; I create things in my head and they’re real,” I grinned, my pearly whites gleaming in the real-world light. But, as the whale’s sleek figure circled before my eyes, I watched Josey’s eyes trained on its movements and an unpleasant realization dawned. The whale called and I stuttered shyly, “You’re one of the amazing things, Josey, that I hope to keep in my heart and mind as I grow up.”
Her ghost of a smile and pleading eyes made something in my stomache twist painfully as her mouth opened. “I’ll always be there for you, Kasey, even if you can’t see me,” with these last words, she vanished forever. I could feel my very first imaginary friend and literary creation was there; even if I couldn’t see her anymore.
Created to Write:
“Can you teach me some moves?” Andrew asks.
Heather sets her water bottle down, “Why do you want to learn martial arts?”
“Because I want to be like you, Heather.”
Heather’s heart drops when she hears her brother’s conviction.
“I want to protect people,” Andrew continues, “I want to be a hero. I wanna be big and strong and brave!” He stands up and poses, showing his not-so-muscular arms. He looks at Heather, beaming, “Just like you.”
Heather manages a smile, but she’s cracking. “What about engineering?” She asks.
“I can’t even get my robot to work,” Andrew says, brushing off the subject.
“But…” Heather sighs, “Andy, there are other ways to help people.”
“Yeah, but, the way you do it is awesome!” Andy grins again, “Why wouldn’t someone want to be a superhero?”
Heather can’t hold his gaze for more than a few seconds. She regrets every exaggeration she told while recounting her missions. She regrets giving him a false sense of what it was like to go through something like that. She didn’t want to remind him of the horrors he went through, but…
She doesn’t want him to follow her. Heather would love nothing more for Andy to follow the passion he’s had ever since he saw a screwdriver and hammer. She knows he can do great things with that gift.
And she doesn’t want to imagine a world where he’s burdened by the same nightmares and memories and scars that she has to live with. ‘But I can’t tell Andy that,’ she laments. That is another regret she has, one that feels too late to take back.