See this owie on my elbow? That kid on the other team pushed me down just when I was ready to kick the ball. No fair. They blew a whistle. My arm hurt. My eyes wanted to cry. But I looked through the glass walls at my daddy. He squeezed his fists in front of him. Yeah, I’m not supposed to cry if I get hurt. He always tells me, “Man up.”
I got to kick the ball from where I fell down. I looked for the other boys and girls on my team. We have blue and white uniforms. I looked for Sean. We play good together. I try to pass to Sean and Sean tries to pass to me. Sean was next to the kid who pushed me. I kicked the ball. Sean turned and knocked the kid over and then fell on him like on-accident. When they got up, Sean smiled at me.
Sean is in kindergarten with me. Next year we go to first grade. Some days Sean wears a dress and sometimes jeans. When we have dance, like when we did the Nutcracker for Christmas and my Mom and Dad and Grampa came to watch, Sean was the sugar plum fairy and I was the prince. But so was Jason. Miranda lets us be whatever part we want. Miranda is our dance teacher.
Sean shares graham crackers with me at snack time. I don’t like raisins and I share those. Sean is good at playing tag in the playground we have outside. But I can swing higher. Sometimes we play house in the playhouse. Sometimes Sean is the dad and I’m the mom. I like to cook like my dad does for us. One day I was in the bathroom, the little one we have in our classroom, and Sean was standing up at the toilet. Sean has a penis and Batman underpants just like me.
On Saturdays, after our soccer game, we always get a treat like juice and pretzels. Sean always gets nachos. From where we sit we can see the other games. We watched some big kids playing. They were all girls. Old like my sister, Jen. Sean said, “I’d like to play with them.”
“You can’t,” I said. “You’re a boy. When you’re twelve they have teams for only boys or only girls.”
“Huh!” Sean said, “I like to play with boys and girls. Like now.” A girl kicked one real hard into the net. People cheered. “See that? I kick hard, like that girl. I could play on her team.”
“Nuh-uh. You have to be twelve. And besides, you’re a boy. That’s why.”
“I’m a boy and I’m a girl. Why do I have to be just one?”
“Because,” I said, “…because…” I squished my juice bag and threw it in the garbage.
Sean said, “Don’t you ever wish you could be a boy and a girl too?”
“I’m a boy,” I said and took a nacho with cheese on it from Sean’s tray.
“See?” Sean said, when one of the girls scored a goal. “I could do that.”