Watching You Grow

By @Jennifer_Gitler
Watching You Grow

A little story I wrote for my experimental writing class in college. **This is actually realistic fiction, but that isn't a genre option so I had to use nonfiction instead. This is not at all about my life.**

Chapter 1

Dear Human,

I don’t know your name yet since we just met, but I hope I’ll get to know you soon. You’re so cute and small right now. Your parents were showing you around the bathroom and had to pick you up so that you could see me over the sink. You giggled and pointed your little finger when you saw your smiling face reflected in my glass.

Your parents pointed out the different things in the room but I don’t know if you actually understood what they were talking about. You seemed to be more fascinated by your toes.

While you may not have been paying attention to your parents I was definitely paying attention to you. Your eyes were so bright and full of wonder.

I’m very happy you’ve come to live here, little human, and I look forward to seeing you more in the future.

. . .

Dear Human,

Your parents gave you your first bath in the tub today. You didn’t look too excited about the water at the beginning. There was clearly some resistance on your part. You warmed up to it quickly though and soon you were kicking and splashing with a smile on your face and bubbles in your dirty blonde hair. I got the feeling your parents hadn’t planned to get quite so wet but you didn’t give them much choice. They were laughing though so I think it was okay.

When they were done they dried you off and wrapped you up in a towel and you quickly fell asleep. I guess bath time can be tiring, even if your parents did most of the work.

. . .

Dear Human,

It’s been a few years since you moved into this house and you’ve already grown so much. You still use a stool to reach me and the sink but you probably won’t need it for much longer.

You’ve started going to school for part of the day now. I watch your mom sit with you and put your hair into little pigtails every morning when you’re getting ready. School seems very exciting. You’re always energetic when you get back.

You decided to decorate me with some of your stickers today, which your mom and dad weren’t very happy about when they found out. They tried to get the stickers off but had trouble so most of them are still there.

That’s okay though, little human. I don’t mind.

. . .

Dear Human,

You turned twelve recently which I know you were excited about. You are not, however, excited about the braces you got a few weeks ago. I know you didn’t like your crooked teeth though and this is supposed to help with that.

Some of the boys have been teasing you at school this year. I’m sorry about that. I hate seeing you come home feeling sad. Try not to give them too much power. They’re just being mean for no reason.

. . .

Dear Human,

You’re leaving for summer camp tomorrow. I’m not going to see you for four whole weeks. You sound really excited about going to camp though so I can’t be too upset. I’m glad you have a friend who’s going too at least so you won’t feel alone at first.

Go be the adventurous camper you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks since summer started. I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back.

 

. . .

Dear Human,

You’re starting high school today and I’m so proud of you. You aren’t very happy about the uniform you have to wear but at least your braces are off now. Does it feel strange seeing your teeth again after they were covered for so long?

I know that you’re pretty nervous about starting at a new school. You’ve been rehearsing your introductions with me for meeting new kids and asking to join their lunch table and sharing a seat on the bus. Hopefully the kids at this school will be nicer and you won’t get teased as much from now on.

I know you can do this. Just remember to smile and be yourself.

. . .

Dear Human,

High school seems to be going alright so far which is good. You’ve been talking a lot about a boy in one of your classes who you have a crush on. Your cheeks flush whenever you think about him. It always reminds me of the small child I met years ago.

You got a haircut yesterday and I like it, but I know you’re not so sure about it. Hair will grow back though so it’s not permanent if you decide you totally hate it.

Good luck with asking that boy to the dance. I hope he says yes.

. . .

Dear Human,

You’re wearing makeup now. Or at least you’re trying to. It seems rather complicated if you ask me. You say that kids at school are still teasing you. Except this time it’s about your face and your acne instead of your braces. So now you spend time every morning covering up, putting on mascara, trying to fit their definition of “pretty.” I don’t think you need any makeup but I guess if it makes you feel better it’s okay.

So much has changed since we first met. You seem to be in here crying or hiding away more than you’re here laughing and smiling. I’ve heard your parents try to talk to you sometimes about what’s going on but you always say you aren’t interested in having a conversation.

There are good things too, though. You got all As on your report card for the semester. That’s a big deal. Try to focus on that when you’re feeling down.

. . .

Dear Human,

I’m getting worried about you. I know you’ve been upset lately but things seem like they’re getting worse.

The first time you got hurt it was an accident, but I think it started something. Now you come in here every few days for it. You bring a razor or a knife, whatever you can easily grab, and you hurt yourself as you stare at me and cry. When you’re feeling better you wash away the evidence, clean your face, and walk away.

I can tell that you’ve been wearing jackets and sweaters to school more often. I think your mom has noticed too. You were fighting with her the other day.

Is everything okay?

. . .

Dear Human,

Summer vacation started a few weeks ago. You also started seeing a therapist about the same time. You were against the idea in general but your parents were insistent and so you finally agreed.

At your appointment last week the doctor prescribed some medications which you and your parents picked up on the way home. The two orange bottles sit on the sink and I see you glare at them twice a day when you have to take the pills.

You always do it though even if you don’t want to and I’m proud of you for that.

. . .

Dear Human,

You’re a junior in high school now but, unfortunately, you’ve been crying and screaming a lot recently. You’ve stopped cutting yourself though so I’ll count this as a win, even if it’s only a small victory.

I just watched you get in a fight with your parents that ended with you throwing your pills in the toilet. Your parents were really upset about that but left the room before they could lash out at you too much. I don’t know what happened after that because you left too but I hope things are okay.

Your parents did agree to let you see a new therapist though. I know you were nervous to get started with the last two but maybe three will be your lucky number.

. . .

Dear Human,

It’s getting close to the end of the school year and, although things haven’t been perfect, you’ve definitely been happier recently, at least in general.

You’ve even gone back to wearing short sleeve shirts when the weather is nice enough. You still have some scars and sometimes you seem self conscious but the new therapist seems to be helping a lot. Some days you practice complimenting yourself to the reflection you see in my glass (an exercise your therapist suggested) and I can tell that it’s starting to sink in, even if it’s just a little.

. . .

Dear Human,

I’m watching you get ready for a date you’re going on tonight. It’s with a boy you go to school with but don’t share any classes with this semester. I like what you’re doing with your hair. The styling frames your face nicely.

I know you say you aren’t sure if you’re ready for a relationship yet but that’s okay. Take it one day at a time. If you both like each other things will work out I’m sure.

Try to stay calm despite your nerves. I hope the night goes well.

. . .

Dear Human,

You started cutting again. I know school and college applications have been stressful. You also just had your relationship end so that probably made things worse. Still though, I wish you hadn’t turned back to this.

You’ve been fighting with your parents again too. I guess you guys disagree about picking a college and deciding what you want to study. They’re also worried about your grades in a couple of your harder classes. I guess for the applications having high grades is important.

Oh, human. Sometimes I wish you were still the little ball of bright energy you were when I met you. It seems like that was an easier time.

. . .

Dear Human,

You’ve been curled up in the corner crying for about twenty minutes now. Your dad just came in and sat on the edge of the tub and now you’re both having a really nice heart-to-heart. You guys tend to see things differently so you don’t always get along. Sometimes though, like now, I can really see how much he loves you. Not that I questioned it before but it’s nice to see you two have such a deep conversation.

You guys are talking about a lot of things and you already seem to look a little happier. You’re not curled up as tightly and you’ve moved out of the corner a little.

I’ve learned from watching you that sometimes you have to feel worse before you feel better. Maybe this will be a turn in the right direction.

. . .

Dear Human,

It’s been almost eighteen years since we first met. Where has the time gone?

You’ve been packing for college the last few days which has been emotional for everyone. Despite the nerves I know you’re excited inside and that’s what matters. You’ve definitely been happier more often during the last few weeks and you haven’t cut in months. You’re still seeing a therapist and she prescribed a new medication regimen that seems to be working a lot better than the previous ones. You even managed to get all A’s and B’s in your classes last year even though you had some struggles.

It’s been so amazing watching you grow, little human. I know you aren’t leaving forever right now but I can tell that things will be different from now on. Different can be good though. So go. Get started on this brand new adventure.

I’ll always be here when you come home again.

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