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It is recess on a warm, spring day, and my elementary-school class is outside on the playground for a welcome break. We girls are gathered together near the paved area that holds the basketball hoop. The boys dribble a basketball below the net. We are not invited or encouraged to do the same. There is a jungle gym, but we can’t climb on it because it is 1966 and we are required to wear skirts and dresses and it would be unthinkable, a bunch of girls hanging upside down, our Carters 100% cotton underpants exposed to the world. So we squat down on the edge of the playground, talking, doodling with chalk on the asphalt. Or we jump rope, a respectable, right-side-up activity. “Fudge-fudge-call-the-judge-Mama’s-got-a-newborn-baaaby”.

We like hopscotch, but what we really want to do is run up the hillside in the grass like the boys, and roll or run back down the hill screaming.

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Photo : Ussama Azam / Unsplash