When Emily told me she couldn’t like Lisa Frank anymore, there was definitely a part of my nine year old self that didn’t believe her reason why. I don’t know how, but I could tell that she had decided that she couldn’t both like Lisa Frank and be cool in the eyes of her peers.
This was unforgivable. I don’t remember if my own love for LS waned after that conversation or not, but years later I was reminded of the whole incident because of Facebook. She shared a link on her page to a new line of leggings designed with Lisa Frank prints.
“OMG MUST HAVE.” She wrote.
The vindication I felt was insurmountable. My childhood self rejoiced at knowing that I was right all along, that her sudden dislike of those rainbow animals was all a ruse. But then there was a jab of sadness, realizing that she had given up something she actually loved, just for the sake of being accepted.
The bittersweet flavor of childhood memories make their remembering a confusing practice. Some of it is so warm and a little hazy but so safe and good, and then you realize what actually happened, what they meant, what they weren’t saying–what was actually happening. And the darkness clouds like ink into the clear water of who you are, and it’s all shadowed with something ugly and frightening. There’s just enough sweet to give you a smile, for a moment, and then you realize the dogs are barking at the neighbor again and there’s a spill in the kitchen and you’re gone again, for now.