Sunday, February 24, 2013
My mom always called me her little hoyden. I was never a tomboy, I was much too uncoordinated for that, but I was a little kid that bounced out of bed on summer mornings and was out the door in my mismatched plaid shorts and daisy print shirt before mom could holler, "Would you please brush that rat's nest out of your hair?"
A child of the sun. Skinny brown legs pumping, handlebar tassels flying, off in search of new skinned knees and bug bites and whatever adventure those summer days held for me. Cannonballs into flimsy backyard swimming pools, Miss America with a sprinkler ring perched on my head as my crown, slip-n-sliding on smooth wet sidewalks (ouch), kool-aid stands...What more could life have to offer? Falling in bed at night, feet black from my staunch refusal to wear shoes, skin itchy from sunburn and tumbles in freshly mown grass, my mind racing with the promises of tomorrow.
I looked in the mirror yesterday, my cheeks slightly sunburnt, my legs brown and freckled, my hair a wild, brittle tangle from too much chlorine and sun, a rat's nest, as my mom would say, my tummy protruding over my bathing suit bottom. "Kary May, if you're going to wear shortie tops at least suck your belly in," my ever mortified older sister, Kathy frequently admonished my ten year old self. I didn't care back then, why should I now?
I looked into cloudless green eyes and saw that summer girl again. The girl I fought so hard for.
Hi, there. I remember you.