And to live by the Girl Scout Law

by Amy Turn Sharp


I had to ask my friend Michelle the other day if it were true that we tried to break my leg back in Jr. High so we could ride in the car during the local parade in our town instead of marching in our girl scout uniforms. She confirmed this nugget of memory that popped into my head the other day. Yes. Anna and Michelle took turns jumping on my leg and trying to break it because we were older girl scouts and frankly, it was the kiss of death for us.
Luck struck and somehow we were able to get Anna's step dad to drive us in his Bronco and throw candy. We spent most of the ride ducking down to avoid eye contact with anyone on the street.

It makes me think of two things:

I am really mortified that I was so focused on what others thought.
That uniform was kinda cute when I jazzed it up and I liked old Betty, the troop leader a lot.
I learned shit there. I liked it inside the brown paneled church basement every Tuesday. I did.

I also think about Anna's step dad. He was a big part of my preteen and teen years. They lived on a camp as caretakers and it was amazing to go to Anna's house. I grew up in the woods but this was insane. Trails and tents and lodges and it was a wicked good backdrop for the teen years let me tell you.
But Anna's dad was just so good. He was a good and cool and funny man and he had two sons and they both died really young. One of them I loved in the way you love a boy when yr quite young and stupid. Like when you are so hot and cold and playing along with some game the older girls whisper about as they paint their faces in tiled beige school bathrooms.

I think about Anna's step dad and how I would still like to know him now. But I don't know him anymore. He is just sitting in the back of my brain in a room reserved for all of the other people that I just don't know anymore.
And I don't why.