Monday, July 12, 2010

growing up

Some people need to grow up.

Not my kids. I asked them a long time ago if they wouldn't mind staying small forever, but they grew up.

Maybe I shouldn't have fed them.

Maybe I shouldn't have let them learn things and get experiences and develop a view of their own.

I think my writing has grown up. I know it has. Because I started writing books for my own son to read... and look at him now, he's six-foot-three.

Damned food.

But I can't keep running around the same track for him. He's growing up. He's a Young Adult. And he's six-foot-three. I think he would beat me up if I wrote a book for him about the last girl to get asked to the dance in junior high school.

And I would deserve it.

I say this because kids do grow up.

Some grownups get stuck, though. Some grownups who'd "discovered" YA way back in the day, and then decided that YA was the greatest thing on earth get stuck running around the same track. They think kids never grow up. They measure all YA against the yardstick of the first YA that really hooked them in -- the one about the lonely girl who's desperate for the cute boy to ask her to her first seventh-grade dance -- and they think that all YA equals exactly that.

That's another thing I hate about YA. The stuck-on-the-treadmill YA readers. You know who they are. They mostly act as fan-peeps for stuck-on-the-treadmill stories that always start off and end up at the same stations.

It makes things easy.

It makes life wonderful.

But kids grow up. Even kids who are only 16 years and 16 days old, like my son. He knows that not everything always works out. He knows that happy endings are passing moments. He knows that some things happen to you and you just aren't going to get over them in 375 pages or 16 years and 16 days. And he wants someone to tell him about those things.

And he's not even grown up yet.