{Oh Yea, Well I've Got One Too}

In the summer of 1997, I was already gawky and awkward in that bookworm, girl who spends the summer with her grandparents, tween-age way.  Looking back though, I knew more about being a woman in this world than I sometimes do now. 

It was a great summer, one filled with some of my fondest memories.  And, as usual, there were boys involved.  Boys who taught me the value of sarcastic, snarky wit.  Boys who laughed at my frilly outfits and pulled me down into the dirt.  Boys who rolled down hills and walked in streams.  Boys who had sisters to gossip with.  Boys who talked me into walking through the sewer to get to the park more quickly, with only one sub par flashlight, which died halfway in, leaving us to feel our way out.  Boys who challenged me.  Boys who sparked my "I hate boys!" phase.  Boys who became some of my best friends. 

These boys were different, right from the start.  These boys, having never seen me before, chased me home one hot summer afternoon in nothing but their cartoon character boxers and high powered super soakers.  I was dripping, crying, and sprinting from these maniacal strangers.  I lived in the country.  People were nice and kind and I was a girl damnit.  What were these boys thinking?  I lept through my front door and did the only thing I could think of.  I grabbed my own tiny squirt gun.  I leaned out the window and screamed "Oh yea, well I've got one too and I'm not scared".  I fruitlessly pulled the trigger and got no where near them.  They moved closer so I could hear their jeers and laughter.  At that point, genius struck.  I went in to refill my weapon and also grabbed a few mixing bowls.  The boys were reeled in closely taunting in perfect range for a quick bowl of water to the head.  They laughed hystrically and, so did I. 

Of all the things I learned that summer, of all the things those boys taught me, that was the most important lesson.  I could have closed the door behind me and cried.  I could have spent the summer indoors hiding from the hethens.  Instead, when things got scary, I joined them at their game.  I fought back and bent the rules.  I didn't run and hide.  Sometimes, even now, I forget this.  I forget that a battle is best if fought passionately and without concern. 

Lately though, I'm trying to be someone I'm proud of, who is strong and powerful.  I'm aiming to be someone I trust with myself and whom my son can look up to.  So, I keep reminding myself "I've got one too and I'm not scared".

3 comments:

KLZ September 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM  

It's hard to walk that line isn't it? To be someone who fights for what they believe in and fights fair?

But, knowing you are still that girl in the story, I have no doubt you're walking that line, proud and tall.

And taking down asshats with every step.

Natalie September 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM  

It's hard to be proud of yourself, I've found. To fight for what's right and fair, and to also do it honestly and not just to win? That's hard, too. Because sometimes you just want to sqaush 'em! ;)

Liz September 30, 2010 at 11:11 PM  

I think fighting with the boys can teach us girls a thing or two. They fight hard, but at the end of the day they forget about it and move on. If only girls were like that...

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