A gender-confused child.

Today’s prompt: Do you resemble anybody in your family of origin? How do you feel about that?

This will shock nobody, but I was a serious tomboy growing up. I lived in over-sized t-shirts, knee-length soccer shorts and dirty Sambas.

I remember staring at my own chubby little face in the mirror at the hair salon, a Velcro smock fastened tight around my neck, restricting my airways. I begged the stylist to cut my hair shorter.

The stylist glanced over at my mother, silently asking her permission, scissors frozen in the air above my head. I watched my mother’s reflection shake its head sternly. No.

There’s a fine line between adorable bob and gender-confused child.

I contemplated jerking my head suddenly, forcing the stylist to make a mistake. The kind of mistake only clippers could fix.

“I’m so sorry,” she would say to my sobbing mother as she buzzed my head clean. “You poor, poor thing, having a little girl with no hair. It must be so difficult for you.”

I didn’t jerk my head.

I looked exactly like her. I still do, I guess. Dark hair, dark eyes, a complexion that transforms ultraviolet rays into a pretty reddish-brown color. The color of clay. If only I were made of clay, she could have molded me into whatever she wanted. I could have been her living doll, pinched and twisted into a beautiful girl with pouty lips, a tiny waist and an adorable bob that framed her face just right.

My dad is Swedish, and what one might refer to as a towhead. Freckles and blue eyes and freckles and two thick yellow caterpillar eyebrows and a few more freckles. My sisters both took after him, with heavy blankets of blonde hair, light eyes and light skin.

I stand between them, the middle sister, and look like I don’t quite belong. They are matching bookends and I am the old novel in between, with pages ripped and the cover missing.

The ultimate tomboy.

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