The second born of four girls, I was the closest to my father, not for any other reason, except for the fact I was the boy he never had. I was the one who waited on the front steps for him to come home from work. I was the one who followed him around with my tool belt. I was the one he bought the trucks for.
You would never know it, today, but I was not the feminine little girl who wore dresses and played with dolls, on the contrary, I enjoyed the outdoors, I entertained myself with the pile of dirt we had out back. Driving trucks through it and excavating it was pure pleasure for me.
While my older sister was in the house helping Mom, I was outside following Dad around handing him the tools he needed for a job he was doing. Always under foot, always in the way, I sensed he was proud of me.
Although, today I’m afraid of firing arms and don’t have any desire to own one, I had my very own at a young age. Young enough that the memory is very vague. My Dad was a hunting man and owned many rifles. He would take me to the firing range and teach me how to shoot. Although I was to young to hunt, I don’t think I had it in me to kill anything. I probably got this from Dad, for all the years he hunted I don’t ever recall him bringing anything home. We had a room in the basement that we called the gun room. He compressed his own bullets with gun powder. That was one room we weren’t’ allowed to step into, so I would stand at the doorway and watch.
I always seem to find my way to the boys on the street. Tom Boy through and through I was right along side them digging for worms. I remember a game we use to play, Michael and I, with a pocket knife, by throwing it down into the dirt, if the knife didn’t stick straight up in the dirt you would have to pull the peg out of the dirt with you teeth. I was naive as a child, I would do most anything he told me. I really don’t think the game exists. If I found a turtle, I would bring it home, if I found a bug I’d put it in a glass jar.
I don’t think I’m much different today as I was back then. I don’t consider myself a Tom Boy anymore, I’m pleased, most of the time, to exist as a woman. Aside from what I look like, I would still rather hang out with the guys. I still enjoy the outdoors, although I don’t like dirt like I use to. I prefer to drive a truck over a car, the bigger the better. I will someday own my own motorcycle. If I had a choice, hot wheels over dolls any day. The memory will live with me forever. A memory of peace and harmony.