The Games

For a period of years between second grade and fourth grade (third and fifth for my brother), our father–an avid runner himself–shepherded us through a series of physical challenges and athletic pursuits. I liked reading. I liked drawing. I liked hanging out with animals, and people who didn’t make me feel uneasy. But this was interesting, too. Because I enjoyed spending time with my older brother–my only sibling–which made me a tomboy by default. Our father coached our soccer league. We learned to ride bikes (no training wheels) and rode them two miles to school and back every day. We practiced hitting a baseball in the backyard: relaxing, watching our footwork, keeping our eyes on the ball. He timed us doing headstands, and kept track of those times. We would go on four-mile runs with him. And he would clock us running against each other on that same course, me with a slight head start. If I ever bettered my brother in any of these feats, my father would hit him with: “You let your little sister beat you? Who’s at least (x inches) smaller than you? And a girl?” He would tease him whenever I had a growth spurt, and we were almost the same height. I looked up to my brother. I wanted to be good at the non-girly things. I enjoyed these victories. I didn’t know any better.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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