by Juana Garcia
Finding the little girl in me
| It seems like yesterday that I wore pigtails and pretended to be a teacher. Sitting at our dining room table with pen and paper and just making circles lots of circles, little ones and teeny tiny ones. It seems to me that I was only 7 yesterday and today I am 37. When I was seven my favorite time ever was making sandwiches with Genoa salami, American cheese and yummy mayo followed by papaya milk shake with my dad and brother. I never really liked the milkshake because of the milk… yuck! But I so loved the feeling of carefree happiness from my dad and my always hungry little brother. My little brother was always hungry. Summer nights when mom worked late we made milkshake and sandwiches. My dad was my world when I was seven. When I was seven I wanted to be a scientist. I wanted to play the piano in church and sing all the church hymns and all the Christmas songs. Ha!! When I was seven I used to play my neighbor’s piano and while she watched me in awe with total admiration one of her older brothers would cover his ears and wince. Oh, when I was seven I had it all. I was carefree, creative, and cute, the three c’s. I remember I got my first and only spanking from my dad at 7 years old for lying. Can’t remember the details of my deceitfulness but I remember my dad feeling bad about it. He never spanked me again.
I loved summer days. The summer days in my home were about making homemade ices, popsicles, and milkshakes. The summer days were about roller-skating and riding bicycles and about playing tag and hid’n and seek and going to the neighbor’s house to just kick it with our friends. Summer days were about the building gossip. Every week my mom would set my hair in rollers outside in the front of the building where all the boys would play hand ball and make fun of each other and possibly me but I didn’t pay attention to these things then. Boys and girls shenanigans were not my thing until maybe eighth grade. I was way too shy. I was so shy I almost felt crippled by it except when I was by myself or with my really close cousins. I loved playing by myself with my friend Le Pew. Le Pew did whatever I asked him or her. Its gender changed depending on my mood and what game I was playing. Le Pew kept all my secrets he was the bestest pretend friend ever. Yes, seven feels like yesterday.
I do not want to lose my seven year old self. Even in her shyness she was beautiful and creative and happy. There is a need to re-identify with my inner child. There are things from my childhood that I wish I could go back to at the same time there are many I wish to delete from my memories forever. The inability to speak to my classmates, the urge to vomit whenever asked to answer a question during class was a tremendous disability to my learning and social upbringing. Even though this is so there is the fact that I was creative and I could fully express my creativity alone to myself.