Fourth Grade Epiphany

I was a tom-girl. I played war with the boys until fourth grade when I was told, “You’re a girl. You can’t be the spy. You have to be a nurse.” I didn’t know why things had changed, but I did know that I was not going to be a nurse. That sounded too tame for me. (At the time my nurturing instincts were undeveloped and I had no concept of war.)
I switched to playing hopscotch with the girls, most often with a friend who lived across the street. One day she told me that she didn’t want to play because she was reading a book. A book? I didn’t get it. But over the summer this happened several times. I finally decided to check out a book from the library.
My first book was a biography of Amelia Earhart, a female, a pilot, and an adventurer. My world exploded with possibility. I became an avid reader. Reading led to writing and I became an author. I owe much of it to Amelia Earhart and a very little bit to the ignorant boys who thought that girls couldn’t be brave and adventurous.