Five

Postcards from childhood

My hands get tired every time you ask me to write my name, but never when I am drawing.

Eggplant, Rainbow Blast, Lord Peppermint Flapjack, and Narwhal

If you call exercise ‘Night Adventures’ I will happily put down my tablet to go outside after dark. My contribution to the fun will be the addition of my sister’s old kitty-witch Hallowe’en costume that looks better on me anyway. I know I have to wear my jacket. But the dress will fit over the top of it! And my Pusheen hat. The one with the pom-poms. And my rain boots. Sissy can wear her doctor coat that helpfully says MEDICAL STAFF on the back in big red letters. That way, you and Daddy will feel safe.

I like your food better than mine. It’s the same thing, so you say. But it looks better over there. And I swear it tastes better, too. Made that sandwich/yogurt/smoothie for yourself? Oh, good, you’re relinquishing it without a fuss. Perfect timing. I was famished.

Remember when so-and-so dared to tell me that unicorns, mermaids, and the tooth fairy are not real? I hiccup-cried until you told me that I never have to stop believing in magic, because magic is real, and only belief will keep it alive over the course of a lifetime.

When you let me ‘tattoo’ you with my washable — oops, not — markers, I felt very important. I was able to create, and you didn’t say the M-word. Mess. You also don’t mention the S-word. Sticky.

You understand the significant and critical difference between Flavor-Blasted Goldfish® and regular Goldfish® and you always remember to get the right kind.

I must have Rainbow Blast, Eggplant, Narwhal, and Lord Peppermint Flapjack by my side or I cannot possibly begin to think of sleeping. Under no circumstances. Herculean efforts on your part to corral them at bedtime have not gone unnoticed, even if I seem unappreciative.

You reassured me that you love me even when you are mad at me. That keeps the world from falling apart when I have done something wrong. I am still loved, which is a relief. I don’t have to be afraid to make a mistake.

You managed to keep a straight face when I told you I was afraid I might die before I get to have my own phone. I, too, have existential crises.

This is childhood.

I am five. This day will never come again.

Author and artist at blueframe publications.

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