What is youthfulness? It's painful. Bones broken through bleeding flesh. Skinned knees. Alley fights and sovereignty. Stalked by drunken men, scratching their balls through sagging trousers. Fighting uphill to school and uphill the way back home. Young and turbulent. Striving too hard for no good reason. To prove self.

Egotistical growing pains. Restless to be somebody. To know all the answers. An unwillingness to take steps one at a time.

Yet childlike, a goal worth seizing. Hold tight to those childlike qualities. Stay true to your child within.

*Upon reading recent negative reviews of Kingsolver's new novel.