I Wasn’t Exactly a Girly-Girl

I was just looking at an article in a newspaper about a local festival. There were lots of photos of the Court. You know, all the young ladies on down to small children. They are all female and their titles range from Queen to Princess to Duchess to Little Miss with a few others as well. I’m sure these young ladies are having a blast doing this. As I skimmed over the hobbies and activities of the very young (three and four years old) I thought of what I was doing at that age. It wasn’t ballet or swimming or gymnastics. At least not in any organized sense.

My mom once took a photo of me on my way down from the top of a pine tree when I was four. The tree was at least 20 feet tall. I had a little friend who lived a couple of houses down who showed me how to climb that tree. After mastering the pine tree, there wasn’t hardly a tree I wouldn’t try. I even walked the fence then jumped off and grabbed a limb and swung up into a crepe myrtle tree when I was about nine years old. I missed once and knocked my breath out but, oh, well. Stuff like that happens when you do the things I did. At least I never fell out of the pine tree.

Another thing I did when I was playing with my little friend was make the tire swing that my Dad made for me, go in a big wide circle and grab onto the barbed wire fence and make it stop. Of course, you have to be sure and grab between the barbs. I missed once. I still have scars.

So far, my activities wouldn’t look so great in a newspaper article about a Little Miss. What else did I do at that age?

Oh, yeah. I baptized kittens. My grandma’s cat had a litter of kittens. I got a bucket of water ready and told them about Jesus and asked them if they wanted to go to heaven. They all did. And they all did, too. My grandma was so upset! And oh, my poor aunt. I bet she wanted to baptize me.

But you know what? I was on a court once. Most likely no one knew of my previous not-so-ladylike behavior. I was in the first grade and we were having some kind of school festival and pageant. In preparation, the two first grade teachers kept getting boys and girls to stand next to each other. They were looking for a suitable prince and princess. I got to be a princess because I was an inch or two shorter than the boy they stood me next to.  It must have been pretty important that the heights be just right because it seems like they took forever calling up one or the other child until they got a match.

I can’t say it was the most fun I ever had, but it is funny to look back on. When we were rehearsing I was told to go up the walkway to the stage and bow. I did. Like a man. They laughed and showed me how to curtsy. I had to do it several times. Then the night of the pageant brought more laughter. As Princess of the First Grade, I had on my white dress with white socks and shoes, white gloves, seems like I had some kind of little white hat on my head and a matching white bandage on my knee. My mom could not convince me that the white bandage that covered my knee would be more conspicuous than the skinned knee. I don’t remember if it was my right knee or my left, but if it was my right knee, I still have that scar, too.

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