To a Tomboy from a Tomboy

You’re in third grade, and smaller than just about everyone else in your grade, which is okay because you are strong, and good at sports. Your mother let’s you dress yourself in the morning. She does this, one, because you are a pain in the ass to pick out clothes for, and two, because she wants to allow you a chance for self-expression. So you ending up wearing one of your brothers oversized t-shirts, and baggy jeans. At school, you have some friends who you hang out but not any close ones. The girls think you are scary because you once told them you thought Barbie dolls were stupid. The boys are confused by you because they know you are a girl, because you have a girl name and long hair, but they don’t know how you are so good at sports and beat them at soccer during recess. So you mostly just have a lot of acquaintances. Parents also have a hard time taking a liking to you. They don’t like that your mom is not part of the PTA, and they didn’t appreciate you teaching their kids the word “SHIT.” Knowledge you have courtesy of your older brothers.

All of this won’t bother you until you get to fourth grade, and the kids start making fun of you for looking like a boy. You won’t like this, and it will make you sad for a while, especially when you start to think that you have what the girls are calling a “crush” on the boy that sits three rows in front of you. He is the only one who is better at you in soccer. He however, will have a crush on the girl that sits next to him. This girl does not play soccer, but instead spends recess French braiding the other girls’ hair, and bragging about the tickets her mom got her to see whatever the hottest new boy band is that week. Soon after this discovery you decide that you want your hair French braided too, and by that spring you ask your mom to take you shopping for a skirt, resulting in your first ever missed soccer match at recess. This also makes you sad, but then you realize that you can bring a change of clothes for recess and still play soccer, and wear skirts in the same day.

By the time you leave elementary school the boys still don’t have crushes on you. Don’t worry about that. You will run into them in High School and you will still be good at soccer, but you won’t look like a boy anymore, and those boys will have crushes on you, but you won’t crush back. It will get to a point where you are only really tomboy at heart, which comes in handy at critical moments like when you are watching football, playing something that involves any kind of competition, or having to eat something with your hands.

So play in the mud, refuse to wear dresses, cut your hair short. You will be okay. I promise.

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