Math+Life #17: When We Were Young

When we were young,

We laughed,

When we were young,

We played,

When we were young,

We cried,

When we were young,

We lay down across the floor,

An open book,

Someone happy,

When we were young,

We were allowed to do all those things.

But as we grow,

Go to school,

We learn that an open book,

Is not allowed anymore,

• For we are 12 not 3 anymore
• For we are older not children anymore
• For we need to start acting our age

As you teach us,

That age is a factor,

Of our right to act,

Of our emotions,

The chapter of age 3 for me disappears,

And I begin to crumple,

Just a little more closed than before.

We have jobs,

We have coffee and tea,

Have no time for our friends,

Almost 30,

And when things do not go our way,

And the tears roll down,

The others read our book and say,

You are not allowed to cry

• For we are 30 now and not a little child
• For we are not allowed to cry
• For we are stronger now and have to act our age
• For we cannot let them read our book
• Go away

We feel the need to keep ourselves hidden,

No crying no laughing just 30,

I used to think it was just our actions are age used to control,

Never knew emotions would get sucked in too,

And when, as an adult, we are told to not act like three,

Our book shuts down,

And we crumple into a ball,

No longer are we an open book,

A new chapter doesn’t begin.

And so when your mother cries,

And she is feeling like a child,

Remember she is still allowed,

To feel like she is three,

She still can open up,

Lay down on the ground,

She is still allowed to open her own book,

And turn the pages as she pleases,

Just like all of us should,

Because that is what’s right,

But what would I know,

I’m still just a child.

*************

Math Connect

A net is a 2D shape that can be folded into a 3D shape. This poem is about how sometimes we start out as a net of a shape because we are allowed to express our emotions. However, as we start to grow up we feel the need to hide our emotions and become more closed like a 3d shape, keeping it all inside as we are not allowed to talk about it.