by Lisa

“If he likes me, he likes me.  I’m not going to think about it.  Let’s go put makeup on.  Not because he might like me.  I just want to put makeup on.”

Just like that, with a dab of lipgloss and a swish of mascara, she is…different.  She betrays her seven-year-old intentions with exaggerated nonchalance.  Her usual full-throttle run to the back of the back yard becomes a bouncy skip, just in case The New Boy might be looking.

She peeps through a known hole in the fence and skips back to the Fort.  New Boy is busy on the other side now.  He is forgotten as quickly as he was discovered.

I see her, all stringy blonde hair and skinny legs and wide blue eyes.  She glows pink and gold in the afternoon sun.  Some day, a boy will see that glow and we will have a new maze to navigate.  Things are simple now.  Boys deserve attention in the form of skips and lip gloss and giggles, but they are not yet real people.  They are Boys, different, mostly unwelcome, existing to be chased on a playground but never caught.

She plays for hours with her best friend, who lives just a block away.  I could eavesdrop on the pair of small people all day.  These walls are thin, and I hear even what’s said outside sometimes.  I watch them through my window, track their movements in the yard, shoo them back when they go to the front.

I would like to shoo my glowing girl back in time, freeze this easy part of life and hover with her here.  This place, made of imagination and muddy knees and lip gloss, suits us.