I’m putting me at about age seven in this picture, so it’s probably the Summer of 1983. There are several pictures of me from this particular trip to the playground, but I think this one is my favorite. It captures so much… if you know what to look for.
I was a happy kid, for the most part, except for kids teasing me about my weight. Kids called me fat, but I was mostly just big overall. I was the tallest girl (or the second-tallest) in my grade for most of elementary school, and I was no beanpole. I wasn’t obese, though, so kids were just being kids when they told me that I was “as big as the whole universe.”
Mom frequently told me to be careful that I didn’t “fall and bust [my] head open,” and you can see that right hand holding on to the jungle gym (or was it the tall slide?) to be sure of just that.
That waist-length hair was so much a part of who I was for so long. I was the girl with the long hair. (And look at that fantastic color!) I didn’t get it cut until we moved to Florida the next year and I picked up head lice, at which point we cut probably six inches off to make the lice-combing easier. I was devastated to only have hair down to my shoulder blades.
And, really. It’s the ’80s. Just look at those shorts.