I hung out with them a lot growing up. Not exclusively. I still liked playing with my Betsy McCall doll occasionally, but once I found a friend who loved to climb trees and make houses in the long field grass as much as I did, well, we were besties of course! But I liked their energy. Their quickness. Their daring escapades.
I climbed as high as they did in the trees, only to almost fall more than 20 feet on a couple occasions. That feeling of having the branch break under you, sliding down the trunk, the pit of your stomach coming up into your throat and the prickle of complete relief as you landed on the next branch further down…I still remember it. Well.
I loved being outside. I didn’t care what the weather was. I told my mom to “go to hell” in 4th grade as she yelled at me for running out the door barefoot as soon as the snow melted.
I could stay out building snow forts far into the evening until I could no longer feel my fingers/toes.
I would cry headed home from a toboggan outing.
I would hang out at the city pool in the summers. All day. Every day and ate candy from the concession stand for lunch.
I chased the fastest boys in school and kissed them when I caught them. (Maybe they let themselves be caught…?)
After racing the high school neighbor kid who just made the track team, I announced to the admiring parents that I, too, was going to be on one. My dad touched my shoulder and said that girls didn’t run track in high school.
I did. And they do now. And I still run to this day.
Keep on being what you want.