Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wild Child

Sugar and spice and everything nice; that's what little girls are made of.
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails; that's what little boys are made of.

I always thought boys got the better deal.  It seemed expected that boys would get dirty.  They could take their shirts off in the summertime.  Spitting the farthest was applauded.  Their games involved pretend guns and swords and mayhem.  A quick once over with a damp comb and they were ready for company.  Trees were meant for boys to climb and puddles were meant to stomp.

I can still see my mother's face when she found me watching snails crawl on my arm as I tried to figure out their method of locomotion or at the fair with snakes wrapped around my neck at one of the exhibits.  One Halloween, I'd dressed up like a boy and trick-or-treating at one house, the boy's father invited me to join the Boy Scouts.  I was ecstatic until my father had to go the next day and explain why I couldn't sign up.  Later, I was a Girl Scout and stayed in the troop as long as they were doing the camping and outdoor stuff, and quit as soon as they started working on the "girly" badges.  I had to be bribed to put on a dress for any reason other than school.  In high school, I definitely appreciated the differences, but still hung out with the guys.  They talked about the really interesting stuff:  cars, tools, sports.  They didn't gossip.  Tony, a shy kid who lived down the street, came from a poor family and his hygiene wasn't the greatest, but he was accepted for exactly who he was.

All of this by way of saying I have the best of all worlds here for a girl such as I was.  I can do all of those "sugar and spice" things now when the mood takes me, but I can get down and dirty with the animals and it's accepted.  I don't throw a hizzyfit if Bessie drags up a deer haunch.  I can shoot guns and carry a knife.  I have women friends who become more dear to me each year.  I can still hang out with the guys and talk tractors and engines.  I still appreciate snakes, while watching out for the rattlers, and am surrounded by fascinating wildlife.  I'm past the age of climbing trees, but I think about it now and then.  (I do leave my shirt on in the summertime.) 

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

It does, indeed, sound like you are in the PERFECT spot, and living life on YOUR terms...well, yours and Mother Nature's (and some critters' terms)!