By Published On: April 28th, 2020387 words1.9 min read

“What happened?” my aunt asked. She hummed a tune under her breath. She always hummed like that. Her face showed concern but her tune remained happy. The humming was unconscious for her. When you mentioned it, she would laugh and say, “I suppose I do,” before starting up another ditty.

“I scraped my knee,” I said.

“Oh my goodness, it’s bleeding. Where were you?”

My knee was not bleeding. At least I didn’t count this as bleeding. It was a scrape and I suppose you could see a little red but nothing was flowing. Clearly, my aunt did not play in the woods enough. She wasn’t tough. Not as tough as a seven-year-old was. My aunt didn’t ride bikes or fight bad guys. She didn’t adventure in the woods or swim in the creek. My aunt was an indoor cat. No claws. When I was with my friends I referred to her as The Couch Potato. She knew way too much about what was on television. Nothing about what happened in the woods.

“I tripped in the woods. I’ll be okay.” I got on my bike, intending to ride away to more interesting, dangerous activities. My aunt stopped me. Her soft hands held me back by the shoulder. “You need a bandage. Let me get you a bandage.” I couldn’t hide my disgust. My nose crinkled. “I don’t want one,” I said, trying and failing to hold back the disdain in my body. My tone was forced and my aunt could tell. “Don’t give me all this attitude,” she said.

Being seven is a strange thing. You can pick out your own clothes, feed your own face, and ride your bike faster than your dad. The outside is your domain. But the adults don’t know how tough you are. They’re concerned with their own world. Obviously, they’ve forgotten about the monstrosities of the forest that need to be conquered. When you’re seven, your priorities are still straight. But oftentimes you don’t know how to communicate these priorities.

On accident, I backed up my bike just a little bit. The tire ran over my aunt’s toes. Her hand left my shoulder and I peddled off. “Where are you going?” she howled. I threw my head back and yelled, “To steal the pie from Mrs. Lewis’ dining room window!”