i think of ballet slippers, watermelon, my collection of pigs…all memories from my childhood. i associate pink with little girls, not grown-up independent women—and certainly not the one i've become. i never associated myself with pink dresses or tutus, these things reserved for my sister jamie or newborn babies brought home from the hospital. PINK IS FOR GIRLS.  and i am a proud tomboy. my color would more likely be green for the hills i'd roll down, into the dirt of the baseball diamond at hines school. or the brown of the tree trunks i'd shinny in 3rd grade.

sure, there were ballet slippers and tutus for a time—but these are not the antiques i pull from the old trunk of my memory. these are someone else's childhood. mine is blue, the aqua of the pool where i spent mornings perfecting my 25 yard butterfly, the sky which cradled my kite as i dodged to avoid the trees overhead. denim overalls and blueberry muffins taken on road trips to nearby towns for yet another swim meet.

i think now of babies—of the little girl we see in our dreams. i think of feminism and gender roles and tiny pink booties sure to arrive gift-wrapped with bows. will she be pink, like the aunt jamie she will know only from photographs? or will she be fire-engine red like her mother's wedding shoes, the flaming orange of her daddy's artwork adorning the walls? how will she find her own color—and avoid being bound by that which society assigns her?

i come back to the image of watermelon, huge slices hacked off and handed to small fingers. to be eaten barefoot in the grass, juice streaming down elbows, seeds spit into flower beds. these are the pinks of my memories, of childhoods spent outside where children are meant to play. all of these thoughts converge as we spend afternoons contemplating the future of this life not yet created. how my childhood will influence hers, how i want for her the safety and love and energy of my own. and i wonder...can this place exist in the world i now inhabit?

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