Tuesday, November 24, 2009

but i do.

Starbucks holiday decor this season...

But I remember. Don't you?

Not just vague memories, but actually what it was like...

Four years old, riding my tricycle around the court I lived in, yelling at the top of my lungs, "I have a new baby brother! There is a new person in this world!" Elated and mystified.

Seven years old, in second grade, going into the kindergarten class at lunch to help the teacher with the "little kids". I remember that I recognized the sound of my mom's keychain clinking when she arrived at the playground to drop off my younger sister, and ran out to give her a hug.

Nine years old, the first signs of a girl who would for years into her adulthood get crazy private and embarrassed about boys... I sat across the table from a cute sweet boy named Jacob in Mrs. Schafer's class, and one day he held up a composition notebook in front of his face towards me, open to a page where he had written "It is true. I like you." I turned away, a deep shade of red, and didn't speak to him for weeks.

Eleven years old, straddling the brink between childhood and adolescence, playing pretend games in a treehouse in my backyard with my best friend but at school discussing how many boyfriends Katrina had and having my first boyfriend for three days, dumping him after he told everyone in P.E. that we were going out. I do remember being aware of the tension between the two different sides of my growing up self.

Thirteen years old, so much happened that year...I remember most of it...being tremendously upset that in the final semester of eighth grade I was to get my first B+ in a class, Algebra, my perfect A streak for all of middle school, ruined...the hours after school divided between marching band practice, soccer games, and babysitting... the moment I sat with my family in the living room, face stone cold, as my parents said they were separating and we were going to move out of my childhood home.

And then, when would you say being a kid ends? When you stop playing Marco Polo and lay out by the pool instead? After your last pretend game? When you get your license? When you move away from home?

I don't think, for me, it will ever truly end. You can't say you aren't at least still part kid, when you are twenty seven and on a Saturday night you skip along the streets as you head downtown, singing Disney songs in a round with your friends... high heels, nylons, and laughing bystanders be damned.

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