From the time we reach about the age of four, we want to be big girls, we want to know things, we want to see things, we want to grow up, we want to wear high heels, we want to watch rated R movies, we want to get big girl jobs, wear big girl makeup, and fall in big girl love. We want to buy our own big girl houses since Mom keeps telling us, "When you buy your own house you can do whatever you want in it, but not in mine." Big girls are the epitome of everywhere we want to go, be, see, and experience, with great boobs to fill it.
And then eventually you stop wanting to be one and start feeling like one. Big things happen, some you probably weren't ready for and some that couldn't come soon enough. There are these great moments: the time you drove your car home by yourself from the license bureau, the time you got baptized fully clothed, in broad daylight, at eighteen years old, the time you put on high heels and a great black dress and went dancing with your girlies, the time you got accepted into college and then got a kickass scholarship to boot, the time someone you spent your entire life being impressed by told you that they were impressed by you, and the first time you really fell in love. And then are those moments that rock you to the core: the time someone important to you dies, the time you almost or actually get arrested, the time you break someone's heart, and the time someone breaks yours all the way to the core. We don't all have the same moments, but we all come together in that moment when we realize the only rational thing to do is call your mama and cry your eyes out. When I called my mama and cried, she told me to pray, to grow, to keep going, to remember, and to write it down so I don't forget. The thing is, the bigger girls we grow into, the more we realize how precious that hopeful, bright, enigmatic little girl was, how much we could learn from her, and how important it is to never leave her behind.
She didn't know much about guilt or worry, only that if you cut the cat's fur, it might take a while to grow back. She didn't ever have to worry about girls calling her mean names, I mean, I'd take fancy pants over bitch any day. She had great hair, it wasn't colored or straightened or too short or too long, it was just great natural hair. She was quiet and good at listening, sometimes too quiet though. She liked writing stories, kissing the neighbor boy, swinging on swings, and playing Marti and Coswell with her baby brother. She liked Limited 2 and Harry Potter and then the Greek Festival and making collages all over her walls and more than anything, getting A's. It all happened really fast and somehow she fell away before all of the cracks could get filled in and all of the bruises didn't turn into scars but man, some of it really did hurt. She'd be proud of me on most days and really disappointed in me on other ones. I didn't become a mermaid or seduce Daniel Radcliffe and these would be unforgivable to her. I hope in some other universe, she doesn't have to go through some of the experiences I had to, but then again, if that happened, she'd never become me. Yeah, on most days I hope she'd like who she became.
My favorite days, though, are the ones where I realize we are still the same girl. I'm not a little girl or a big girl, I'm just a girl who is constantly growing and evolving and letting life spill out all over her canvas, messy as it may be. Its probably going to get much messier and, sometimes, much darker, but what is there to be afraid of? It's a big world, and when I want to be, I am a big girl; so let's get on with it...