I Keep Her With Me

Written by: Natalie 

I remember that little girl very well. I look at her and instantly, I see everything. I know she would think I was just the coolest, and that makes me want to love myself more. So I keep her with me, because she deserves being held onto.

Little me; brave and wild. She spent hours climbing trees, as high as she could go, and she would stand on a sturdy branch and look down and the forest below. She wanted a dad who wasn't there, loved a mom who only loved herself. She was straight A's, crooked teeth, science club, clarinet practice, no bad words. The day she got glasses she cried in front of her entire class because her teacher called her "the girl with the glasses" and everyone laughed. (Or she thought they did). The boys she liked NEVER liked her back, and self doubt first appeared on the scene. But she never changed who she was, even though she was lonely. Easily one of her best traits.

That little girl is me.

I'm still the exact same, just bigger, with straight teeth, lipstick, two kids of my own and a prescription for contacts. I still have my glasses though, and when people say something about them, I clap back with, "yeah, well, I need them to see, sooooo"

I traded in my treetops for a top floor apartment with a huge window looking out on a giant old tree. A safer version of my old home. When it rains, I open the blinds, lay on the floor and look up and pretend I'm in a treehouse. I pretty much am, and little me can't tell the difference. I no longer ache for a loving mother; instead I became one. My sons will never have to wish for more.

Boys still don't like me, but I think it's because they are afraid of me, and I'm more than ok with that. Girls don't like me either, but I like them, and I encourage them to like each other. I'm lonely, but I'm not alone. I never have to travel too far to find her. She's everywhere I am. I carry her with me, so we are never alone.