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by Kirsten Schilling

I don’t remember the first time that I got my period. 


But I do remember Lily who, unlike my other friends that year, still liked to climb trees and play on the tire swing with me. When we played together, it was good and messy. We were skinning our knees, tearing our clothes and having fun in a manner that was still childlike. At the same time, we were both aware (she had two beautiful older sisters with breasts and periods to prove it!) that adulthood was soon coming to claim us.  


Once, we fell off a pony we were riding bareback.  


We had just been out to where the parents were, sitting in the back yard with their iced teas, enjoying the sun and each other's company, when our pony walked under a clothesline. I remember how easily we were swept to the ground, landing in two small heaps of skinny-girl arms and legs.  


The breath had been knocked completely out of me and, as my lungs struggled to catch my first, next breath, I just laid there and looked at the sky, feeling defeated.  


Defeated because we had just announced to our parents and siblings, shirtless, on the back of the pony, that we wanted to rebel. We wanted to be like boys, like her younger brother Eddie, who didn't have to wear a shirt on hot summer days. 

About the Author

Kirsten has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, a Master’s Certificate from Antioch University Los Angeles in Publishing, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Library Science at San Jose State University, with an emphasis in archives and the Humanities. 

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