A triptych of a majorette. Or, more simply, a baton twirler. Why did this speak to me? Because for six years, from the ages of 5 to 11, I was a baton twirler.
Circa kindergarten, 1990
I had a lesson every week, parades maybe twice a month in the fall and winter, and a recital in the spring. There were cute costumes with lots of sequins that required shiny tights and a little makeup. For $2 we could get colored tape wound around our baton and for a few dollars more we bought little rubber end caps. Each week after practice we'd get fun pencils and scented stickers.
My sister did it for a few months at the beginning and my mom walked many a parade with me. (She was most definitely not a stage mother, but there were plenty of others that were. Plenty of others.) It was fun to dress up and I even enjoyed the performing.
Circa first grade, 1991(Incidentally, this was taken shortly after I asked to have all my hair cut off, making this the first rash hair decision of my life. I don't know what emotional event occurred that caused me to do so. Someone stole my pencil box?)
Now, if you think I'm shy now, and you didn't know me as a child, imagine the shyness magnified times 100. But I don't remember any major meltdowns, and my childhood best friend was there all the way. It was just a fine time.
My one regret from this time was never mastering the throw it up, turn, and catch move. (No idea the actual name.) I managed it ONCE, my entire last year of twirling. At the awards ceremony at the end-of-year-recital, each girl did a little twirling on stage as a biographical snippet and list of skills was read. The goal was always to get so good that when you were called, you could do the throw it up, turn, and catch without worrying if you were going to drop it off the stage or throw it in the audience. This was never to be for me. I did, however, win the sportsmanship award out of the 100 other girls my last year. So, take that, bitches who can turn and catch!
Circa third grade, 1993
(Pretty sure I'm wearing more makeup here than I do now.)