I am not going to say I did not have a childhood. Because I did. In every way, a child should. I had sleepovers and played with dolls. I had practice after school and sometimes in the morning. I had homework to do just like everyone else. I never missed out on normal childhood things. My childhood just looked a little different.
I did still get to do all the fun things like everyone else, I just had extra responsibilities. Simple things really. My childhood wasn't all that different from most kids, I just had to grow up a little younger than most and for that, I am very grateful.
It was hard at times, kids who grow up young have to learn to cope by ourselves, take care of ourselves and others around us. Our childhoods may not have been the easiest or the most fun, but we did learn a lot from it and we can be thankful for that.
Growing up at a young age is not ideal, but I learned to take on responsibilities that are not always mine. I learned how function under immense amounts of stress and pressure, which made me a better athlete and student. It most definitely made me stronger. It gave me a different outlook on life and prepared me for some of the unexpected life may throw at you. It prepared people like me for life and being an adult and helped me to guide my friends through some of the things I have already been through. It helps us get through stressful situations because we know everything will be okay.
It made me realize that sometimes the struggles and things we go through are blessings in disguise. They can make us stronger, help us grow, and make us more independent. Having to take on adult responsibilities helped me prepare for real life and made me into the strong and independent person I am today. It helped me realize I was destined for more and that I would be okay in college and in life.
I have friends who have not had to grow up at a young age and I love them but some of them do not know how to function without their parents. They were not raised to have to handle stress, pressure, or tons of responsibility. They did not have to fight their way through life, though I imagine that life would be nice, I could not imagine mine any other way than having to fight. I learned so much from having to be an adult as a child and part by choice and part not, either way, I learned some extremely important lessons. I have the ability to feel confident leaving home and I know I will be okay on this crazy ride we call life.
Having to grow up at a young age was the best thing to ever happen to me because I learned how to be the strong and independent women I am today and I would not have it any other way.