By: Christy Hamrick
The five middle-school girls assume their places across the stage as the hyped up hip-hop version of the “Hokey-Pokey” booms from the auditorium’s massive loudspeakers. There she is on the far right clad in red knee socks, plaid mini skirt, and stepping with fluid movements. She has a gleeful smile spread across her features as she moves in synchronicity with the other four dancers. This particular version was NOT the “Hokey-Pokey” of my youth; my eleven-year-old niece clearly has found her groove.
Rachel Ann runs with a pack of she-wolf pups that live in perpetual wonder of their surroundings. Hadley, the tall, dark-headed, lanky lass, claims that she will ride an elephant one day in the circus, and if that doesn’t pan out, she will become a waitress at a diner. All who know her should address her as “Flo the Fantastic.” When it was raining one night during a sleepover, Hadley and Rachel turned the back yard into an all natural slip ‘n’ slide. They ran at full speed and belly flopped into the mud, sliding like seal pups on their stomachs.
“Hannah Banana” is a softball jock and sports a tan plus a long, blond ponytail in the summertime. If someone pushes her buttons, she places one hand on her hip while oozing attitude and says, “Don’t make me snap my fingers in a ‘Z’ formation!” Hannah will act out a slapstick version of events overheard while eavesdropping on adults’ conversation with perfect comedic timing.
Their fiery, independent spirits come out in their brightly colored crock shoes worn well into December and the elaborate productions they record on the family camcorder. They work and rework dance routines in the front yard and switch gears immediately to painting birdhouses in the garage. No sport is off limits—they will eagerly dribble a basketball or kick a soccer ball or ride bikes throughout the neighborhood. If none of her buddies are available to visit, Rach can amuse herself by kicking her scooter around in the driveway, stopping occasionally to belt out in song—one of the lines from “Born to be Wild.” She then resumes scooting and chuckles from deep in her belly.
A picture of Rach sits in my loft on the second bookshelf; she is four-years-old with shoulder-length blond curls, wearing a bright pink and purple outfit. A wide smile stretches across her face and she has her arms outstretched as if she is saying, “Here I am, world!” She is a little dynamo. The perfect blend of princess and tomboy.
Christy Hamrick lives in Lexington, NC, works in Greensboro, practices yoga, writes, and explores the trails in natural areas of North Carolina. She is a member of the Valle Crucis Writers. Rachel Ann is now 15-years-old, lives in Lexington, and is still the perfect blend of princess and tomboy.