I grew up in a small trailer park in the 90’s with a young, single, college mom, her strangely entertaining boyfriends, and no clue that our small town society viewed our lives as less- than. In elementary school they would pull me out of class to play with dolls in a secret room behind the cafeteria while a woman sat near by to see what I would do. The only thing this accomplished was making sure I never properly learned my multiplication tables. After what I can only describe as too much TV exposure (Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing were my favorite movies at the time) I told my kindergarten teacher that my mom likes to go to hotels on dates. (Because that makes since, right?) I’m pretty sure this is what lead to my “special” play time in 3rd grade.
My first kiss was at the age of 7 (or 8) with my best friend, a girl who would pull out her dad’s old Playboy magazines when we got home early from school. Afterward we would lock ourselves in her small blue bathroom plastering our bangs with Aqua Net and examining our ribs to make sure they were still visible when we relaxed our bellies. We would paint our nails hot pink, strut around in the shortest cut-offs we could find, and argue about who was going to marry Wesley from The Princess Bride.
I swam in creeks, climbed trees, jumped off the porch with a homemade parachute, and made forts in the tall grass covering the foothills behind our neighborhood. My childhood was rough at times; with a busy mom, absent dad, and periods with very little food in the house. Still, it was pretty magical and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.