I’m a girl that grew up in the country running in my bare feet down a dirt road with the surface packed so hard that I can still hear the slap, slap, slap as my feet hit the ground so that I could go play made up games outside at my cousins’ while listening for my Momma to call me back home for dinner.
I’m a girl that went to church and was born again at seven years old while sitting on the pew two rows back on the right hand side next to my Momma, sucking on a Luden’s cherry cough drop, drawing on a scrap of paper my Momma found in the bottom of her purse that I held against the hymnal while hoping they would sing Everybody Will Be Happy and listening to the lyrical voice of an old time country preacher.
I’m a girl that grew up as an only child for seven years until my Momma and Daddy brought home this little bundle of boy child that I rushed to the car and carried in the house where I tucked him in my lap and learned the value of love and the responsibility of being part of a family.
I’m a girl that grew up at her Maw-maw’s knee helping her shell peas in the summer with a cold dishpan sitting on top of my crossed bare legs and dusty feet and watching her sew and cook and picking up the skills as she taught them with patience and a watchful eye to any of us that wanted to learn.
I’m a girl descended from two large families that gathered for holidays in a mass of aunts, uncles and cousins where we celebrated with hugs and food and laughter and running outside in search of Easter eggs or lightening bugs or the chance to not be “it” in whatever game was being played at the moment.
I’m a girl that had a mother that listened to me and made up games and read me stories and believed in me and told me that I could be whatever, whoever I wanted and that I was smart and beautiful and made sure that I did not doubt those two things.
I’m a girl with a daddy that gave her a love for books and reading and taught her that an education is important, but that trying hard and doing your best is even more so when she came crying to him with a poor progress report in math scared at the punishment she would receive by giving her nothing but guidance and a lesson in how hard work pays off.
I’m a girl… doing my best to pass on these same lessons to my girl (and boy).