A Follow-up to,“When I was a boy”…

follow-up-to-being-a-boy

As a disclaimer, my blog wasn’t about gender questions or anything like that…

To be clear, I never really wanted to be a boy – I simply wanted to have the same adventures as the boys I knew. And thankfully, I got to do exactly that; my entire childhood. (Well except on Sunday’s that is. Then I had to clean up, put a dress on and go to Church. Sigh…it was terrible!)

I have always loved being a girl but that also meant being a girl on my terms – which is:

I have never had any desire to be like other girls. Trying to figure out me was enough! I didn’t need to be someone else. I love experimenting with makeup and such but always in a fairly distracted way. I never got the knack of it and it really doesn’t even bother me.

I never get my nails done because I use my hands too much and the nail polish would be ruined almost immediately. Besides, I work with food a lot and nail polish is a no-no.

I don’t like dresses but will wear skirts if I have to. Jackets are my favorite, especially men’s jackets. Why is it that they get all the cool inside pockets? Why?

I’m more at ease being outside hiking in the woods than in the boardroom. Yeah, I can do that stuff but I might just get caught daydreaming! Boring!!!

My life aspirations weren’t to go to the moon or be president. Nope, what I wanted to be when I grew up was to be a mother and a wife. Those were my ambitions and actually, it’s what I do best. And in case you were wondering, I DID play with dolls, I did play house and I baked every chance I got!

I also loved making trails in the woods, building tree houses and arguing with the best of them whether someone was safe or not when they ran home from third base!

My being an adventure-seeker has nothing to do with also being an A-type personality. Clearly, I am not that type.

All my life, I’ve had more male friends than female friends. I preferred to engage in the activities my male friends were doing because I didn’t have much interest in what most of the girls were doing. I was never “boy crazy” like a lot of girls were. They were just friends! LOL

To this day, I have more male friends than I do female. Don’t get me wrong, I love my women friends but I do have less of them.

Most of my friends have been guys. I have not chosen jobs/work that is traditional “women’s” jobs. I’ve worked in shipping and receiving and have loved it. I once even worked construction, starting out as a laborer and then advanced to a pipefitter. And you know what? I got called out by many of the men that worked there because I did happen to wear nail polish in those days! They said I couldn’t do that. ..I guess I proved them wrong! I even had makeup on, lol.
I am not a fan of shopping, especially in a mall or with a group. I want to walk into a store, get what I came in for and leave as fast as I can!

I still love to get my hands dirty while gardening or even cooking. Either is fine, I always make a mess on my clothes or my apron. And that’s fine too.

Bottom line: I’m still very much an adventurer, very much a woman and very much Paul’s favorite tomboy. And Jesus thinks I’m awesome.

Advertisements

When I Was a Boy

tomboy

I remember standing on the barstool talking to my mom. She was working in the kitchen making us some lunch. I still have a picture of the room in my head. The room was bright, the floor was tile, and the kitchen and family room were open together in one space. There were patio doors that led to the back yard. Our friend Christopher lived next door and he was our constant companion.

I recall one time me, Christopher and my sister, Kelli were playing in the front yard. I believe we must have been about 4 or 5 years old since none of us were in school yet. Our tricycles there with us in case we need to go somewhere.

All three of us were shirtless – it was summer and we were in Florida. That means it was really hot outside. We often went without our shirts and never; I don’t think we ever gave it a thought. Mom never asked us to put one on.

That day, Mr. Johnson, our neighbor stopped his car at the end or our driveway and yelled out the window at us. He yelled, “Put your shirt! You are girls, not boys!” to Kelli and me.

That was the first time I had ever heard of girls needing to wear shirts!

Why?

I was totally confused – our chests didn’t look any different from Christopher’s!

Why did we have to put a shirt on and get all hot and sweaty but he didn’t?

Another memory I have is when were at Christopher’s house and went looking for some candy – to sneak. (There was no other way we were going to get any)

To this day I remember that candy; it was ice blue and almost transparent. We each took one out of his mother’s cabinet, looking around to make sure no one saw us. I was scared to death, but not so scared that I didn’t take the candy. I was so scared in fact that when I put the candy in my mouth and Christopher’s mother walked in the door, I choked on the candy. She immediately knew I was choking (not knowing what I was choking on), and kept trying to dislodge it by trying to get me to throw it up. It was terrible! I was caught, and my punishment was that I was going to die.

I didn’t die and she never even said one word about that piece of candy… as it finally went flying out of my mouth. She was only concerned for me. It’s crazy how loud the voice of guilt and shame are.

Another afternoon my constant companions were absent. It was hot outside and I was getting hungry so I went inside to see what Mom up to. She was in the kitchen making bologna sandwiches for lunch so I climbed up on the barstool so I could watch what she was doing.

I asked, “Do you remember when I was a boy?”

“Not really” she replied.

“Of course you remember! I was your favorite little boy! How can you not remember? I played outside all the time. I climbed trees and didn’t have to brush my hair or wear shirts or shoes…It was wonderful!”

She just raised her eyebrow and continued to make sandwiches.

I was remembering what being a boy was like with such longing in my heart. Why couldn’t it be like that still? Why did I have to be a girl? Girls never had as much fun as boys did.

Mom continued on with lunch, listening to me but not taking too much stock in my words. She suggested that I may have been asleep and dreaming when I thought I had been a boy, but that wasn’t possible; of course I used to be a boy, I had all these great memories. I continued to imagine or remember what it was like. I was a brave boy. I was bold and courageous too, afraid of nothing.

Maybe it had been just a dream but that day, when I was talking to my mom about it, it was a memory of something real and not just something I made up! It was a mystery to me.

I was a girl and always had been.

My youngest brother, Adam was born while we lived in that house. Mom and dad brought him home from the hospital on Christmas morning. What a great present he was – all bundled up in a huge baby-sized Christmas stocking.  I think dad even placed him under the tree so we could all see him. Back in those days, kids weren’t allowed to come to the hospital so this was our first time seeing our baby brother.

The day came when we had to move. Dad wasn’t in the Navy anymore but he still did photography. We were moving to Sebring so my dad could be the photographer for the local newspaper. I remember crying when we found out that we had to move away. Kelli and I argued constantly about who was Christopher’s best friend. We argued for a week! I remember seeing him sitting on his little bike in our driveway, shirtless and filthy as usual while we drove away to new adventures, craning our necks to watch him as long as we could. Finally. we turned the corner and never saw him again.

When I was a boy…

When I write about this memory now, I can’t help but think of Peter Pan and the lost boys. I felt like one of those boys. That was the flavor of who I was. Not rebellious but adventuresome and being all about the business of playing and fighting. It was with great, longing that I talked to my mom about it. I was on some level hoping that she could confirm that this was who I was; an adventurous, bold courageous boy who was much loved!