“Put your feet together, sweetheart”, my father´s voice echoes in my head. Watching the barefoot kids play in the park, I remember myself standing in the sandpit of my childhood´s park, with one foot on each side of a bucket, smiling into the camera.
“Why do you want me to put my feet together, Dad?” The clicking sound immortalize me holding the bucket in my right hand, with my feet together.
“Because you will be a woman when you grow up.”
Years later, I walked through the same park crowded by holiday celebrating families, and Sophie was standing in the sandpit, with her bucket in her hand.
“Sophie!” Looking up at her mother with a smile, she left the swing and threw herself at her with a big hug, forcing her face into mother´s breast, as if the softness reminded her of the infants´ safeties. With her big laugh, she started to dance round and around, like a carousel, showing a line of white teeth, before she fell and I started to cry. With grazed knees, I hugged my father, while he picked me up.
“Girls were never ment to run”, he said with softness in his voice. That evening I promised myself never to run again, while scrubbing my knees with soup and water. The shampoo stung in my eyes, and I hated boys running as much as they wanted.
Investigating my middle-aged body´s all wrinkles and spots I cried for the loss of my youthfulness, remembering Sophie’s anger first time she understood a woman´s share of life.
Passing kindergarten a lat Monday afternoon I stayed to watch the kids play. Wild and filled with life they ran around like kids do, and I closed my eyes. Girls were never ment to run, when a voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Which one is yours?” A father trying to make conversation.
“I don´t have kids”. His confusion amused me, and it got silent for quite a long time before he thought he got the point.
“What kind of work do you do?” It was a flirt.
“I don´t work.” Every time a woman tells a man that she actually has chosen herself and no one else to live for, he gets confused. And interested.
“What´s your name?” he asked.
“My name´s Sophie”, I answered with a smile.