We notice flowers. Bright bits of lace on the grass, living confetti. We say “ooooo!” and discover magenta, petals dripping jewel-toned paint. We pick haphazard bouquets to stick in a chipped mug and watch during breakfast, because we need pretty.
We dance, every day. Living room dance hall, disco lights through open windows and the stereo up just loud enough. Even I, despite my traumatic experiences with skirts, put one on so we can twirl and twirl. We spin ourselves dizzy, lighter than air and beautiful as gilded carousels at play.
We mother. She with her well-loved plastic baby, I with my well-loved squirming one. We wield bottles as tools of our trade, spit-up cloths and a cheery “hooray!” for rolling over (two for trying to crawl). Even her cars, after VROOOMing across the floor, are put down for naps, blankets tucked up around their fenders with love.
We take over the kitchen. Not hostile, oh no. We’re delighted conquistadors, tasting, stirring, and tasting again, messy dishes left spooning in the sink. We make our own kinds of coffee—mine dark and steaming, hers invisible and spill-proof—and we say “mmm-hahhh” together, eyes closed for emphasis.
We wear pink. And blue and turquoise and orange, and truth be told, I wear mostly brown. But she shows me how to wear pink with charisma, shirts that sing opera and sparkly toenails that send giggles to each other in Morse code. We are pretty.
I love little boys, their grit, grime, and rough-and-tumble, their perpetual bounciness and smudginess. I always thought they were what I wanted, a personalized pack of Lost Boys and I their Peter Pan. But now? Not in a million Never-Neverland years, not even for a pocket full of disgusting treasures offered with a grin, would I choose boys over this:
She and I, girls.