I was one of those weird kids who played with Barbies a little too long. Like, the age in early adolescence when parents start getting concerned thinking, “God, please don’t let my kid be the one who takes her dolls to high school with her.” Much to my parents relief, I finally packed away my giant Tupperware tub of plastic bodied blondes just shy of the eighth grade.
Dear Mrs. Clinton,
I’m five years old and sitting on my mother’s bed wearing an oversized and threadbare t-shirt she had handed down to me. My hair’s still wet from my bath and pressing to my back as I rest my head against a pillow by my mother’s side. All of these years later, the feeling of wet hair on my back as my head hits the pillow after a long, hot shower is one of my favorite feelings, a feeling of nostalgia associated with this precious memory. My mother opens a book about the history of the presidents of the United States. It’s a book much too advanced for me at five, one meant for adults, but reading this book has become our pre-bedtime routine, and every night for months my mother read aloud to me all sorts of trivia about our presidents. Knowing me and my interests at five, she spent so much time telling me the names of the First Ladies, showing me pictures of their inaugural ball gowns, and telling me the names of all of the presidential pets. Each night before we would study a new president, she would quiz me about the ones I had already learned, asking questions like Who is the 16th President? Spiro Agnew was this president’s VP, For what is Dolly Madison most known?… This was just another of my mother’s clever attempts for me to learn while having fun. (more…)