birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Anything You Can Do I Can Do

My twin brother, cousin, and I rushed wildly racing to be the first in the house following an afternoon of backyard play. At 7 years old we traveled to an imaginary jungle and swam across the swamp of our kiddie pool. We consumed large quantities of water and popsicles on our adventure. Like clockwork each of our bladders seemed to kick in simultaneously and the urgency of our situation became apparent as we all sprinted to make it to the one bathroom available in the home.

The boys won and pushed me out of the restroom as they both were able to release in harmony. The open door allowed me the opportunity to reenter as the boys continued their business. I was a tomboy and frustrated not able to share in the experience of the satisfaction of release. I decided to pull down my shorts and I lined up on the other side of the toilet bowl with my hips leaned forward and my hope to hit the circle too.

My brother in anger, yelled "Mommmmm!". My brother's holler caused my mother to burst into the restroom in a panic, and she saw my posture, and scolded me. I was confused by her anger. I believe I successfully hit the mark unlike the complaints I'd hear her give my brother and cousin. She told me a young lady was to sit on the potty. I felt the urgency of the situation afforded other choices and sitting down like a young lady did not seem realistic. I told her, "Anything they can do I can do." She did not agree. I still was reprimanded.

That experience shaped my ideas about gender. I believe that women have and will have the ability to achieve accomplishments that were once afforded to men. Women have proved that their capabilities are parallel as well as surpassed opportunities that was given to the opposite sex. This confirms my seven year old thesis, "Anything they can do, I can do." I stand confidently in that truth. I am extremely proud to be a woman. And with that said I also do believe in chivalry. I like that I can handle reverse roles if necessary, but I do appreciate a door being opened for me, and shoulders that push back in my protection. And even though I have learned how to mow a lawn, build a fence, and take out the trash myself. I appreciate that my husband can do it.