When I was little, I really wanted a big brother. I tried to figure out a way for my parents to make that happen. I wanted to change my name to Chelsea. Keely was just way too unusual. I wanted freckles. I wanted a dog. I wanted a waterbed. I wanted to be a competitive roller skater like those cool girls in sequined dresses and nylons whose pictures surrounded the rink at Skate City. I really, really, really wanted braces. I thought they were so cool. All the cool, grown-up teenagers wore them. I wished I had an excuse to wear my fancy dress-up hat in public. I wanted to take tap-dancing lessons. I wanted to get my ears pierced and to wear dangly earrings, but Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me until I was 12 (which was clearly ancient). I wanted to be Pocahontas.
It was fun to be a little girl, talking to my dolls, riding my ornery pony Tiddlywinks, dancing barefoot in the rain, climbing a tree to read Anne of Green Gables and The Chronicles of Narnia, playing imaginary games all my own. Sometimes growing up sucks. Nobody gives you snacks after your high school soccer games like they do in the 8-and-under league. Nobody thinks braces and Barney and band-aids are cool anymore. You can’t eat all the Funfetti cake you want and waitresses definitely will look at you funny if you ask for crayons to color your placemat with at Denny’s. When you are little, scraped knees are just awesome battle scars, bad haircuts are forgivable, mismatching outfits are just cute. True love is chasing somebody around the playground. Your party is cool if you have a pinata, and coins in a piggy bank makes you rich.
So as I go to bed, I will check my windowsill…just in case. It would be a wonderful night to go to Neverland.