When you're a child, you idolize you parents. Your elders.
Your older siblings are infallible.
Your Father is invincible,
Your Mother, domestic,
Your Uncle, exotic,
Your Aunt, interesting,
Your Grandmother, worldly.
Your Grandfather, arcane,
You treasure every word they say as though it came from the Bible.
Their bedtime stories are your Psalms, and their actions are your Genesis.
Their scoldings, your Revelations.
You wear their advice as armor.
and nothing they say can be wrong.
Slowly, though, you realize what it is to grow up.
You realize that being an adult isn't about what age you are,
it's about what you know.
and slowly you age from toddlerhood.
when you realize that your grandfather didn't go off to practice magic in foreign lands.
He died of cancer when you were five years old.
and slowly you age from childishness.
When you realize that your grandmother hasn't left her condominimum in fourty five years.
And she has always lived in Arizona.
and slowly you age from adolescence.
When you realize that your Aunt no longer does art shows,
because she lost her spark years ago, before you were born.
and slowly you age into a pre-teenager.
When you notice that there are no pictures of your uncle in the olympics.
That really he's been an insurance adjuster his whole life.
And you age even further from that.
When you find that your mother has cheated on your father fourteen times,
and it really was your fault that they no longer had passion.
then you are suddenly a rebellious teenager.
When you decide that your Father can finally be wrong.
That every time he yells at you, it's not because you did something incorrect.
Not always, anyway.
It's because his life didn't turn out the way he wanted.
It's because he is angry at the world.
You grow into adulthood.
When you discover that you sister dropped out of college.
Not because she wanted to see the world,
but because she got drunk one night, and got pregnant.
But you, too will one day tell your children that your father is magical.
That your mother has seen everywhere there is to see.
that you are infallible, your wife is wonderful.
Your sister does art shows, and her husband is a superhero.
You will remember the discoveries you made,
but you will tell your lies anyway.
And you will hope that your children stay young forever.
Even though you know it's not true.
Then you are finally old.
When you realize that you have finished what you started.
That you negotiated with your dreams down to what they are.
That you have more than once contemplated cheating.
That you will tell your sister's three year old that you saved the world, long, long ago.
That no one will buy your art.
That the world is never more interesting than the things behind your door.
That magic is dead.
That those bible stories you hung on to so long ago are just what they are.
And you must find your miracles alone.