“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I will never completely grow up.

In 1987, my kindergarten teacher asked each child in my class what he or she wanted to be when they grew up. She compiled the answers and sent them home in a booklet to every parent. My parents, upon receiving this book, anxiously flipped through the pages to see what their ambitious five-year-old had written. Among the answers of future doctors, lawyers, firemen, and teachers, my answer was definitely the most ambitious. Sprawled in crayon across the page, I had written: "I'm not going to grow up."

Looking back, I was wise beyond my years. I will not grow up. I will retain the hopeful optimism of a young girl who tried to fly off of the fireplace ledge. I will seek the simple joys once found in a crabbing line and an open bay. I will imbue everything that I do with the fierceness of a child who does not comprehend limitations. I will dream passionately, love wholeheartedly, and laugh frequently. I will continue to grow from the love, loyalty, and friendship of my family and someday, use this love to nurture my own sons and daughters.

And I hope that they will never completely grow up.

— Maureen Monagle Miller