On Growing Up

December, 2019

When I was small

I would tell people I hated jazz

I hated it because it was slow

Because it was my brother’s favorite

Because there were no words

It was too boring for a fast-paced twelve-year-old

For a girl who could never sit still

Or focus on one thing for more than five minutes

Jazz just wasn’t for me

I said on repeat

But now I can admit I like jazz

I did at that time as well

It was never jazz that I disliked

But the way that jazz made me feel

Because turns out it made me feel

My mom used to play it constantly

(She was from New Orleans, see)

Every lazy Sunday when I was small

We would clean the house together

And play jazz

And dance in the sunlight through the window

As I grew older this lessened

The weeks grew far and few

Jazz stopped flowing through the house

And on the occasions it did

I complained

I complained because this music was too much

Every upbeat, beautiful song was sad to my ears

It was made of longing

Of yearning

For that time in the past when it was just my mom and me

Dancing with the dust motes under the cover of jazz

Jazz made me feel too much

Too strong

Emotions of sadness

Of growing up

Of longing for the past

Jazz showed me nostalgia at an age

When nostalgia shouldn’t be a word 

(I didn’t know the word, just the feeling)

Now I’m finally big enough

To admit the music is beautiful

But I’m not big enough

To not yearn for a childhood

Anytime I hear it