Courage is – getting out of the car, in free fall, when you have told everyone you can’t, you’re too scared.
Courage is – turning back for a second hug and kiss from your mom, though the impatient car line is growing and other kids will laugh.
Courage is – walking into the world with a brain on warp speed and fingers that can’t keep up. You still can’t tie your shoes fast or keep the letters of your name straight on the line. And today more strangers will know.
Courage is – being fifty pounds lighter than your peers with a voice that hasn’t cracked and a face that is baby smooth, in a universe where older, bigger, stronger, faster and able to drive drives everything.
Courage is – facing a world recorded on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, when your face and hands twitch and flap without your consent.
Courage is – getting confused by your confusing schedule and going to the wrong class, then getting to the right class 15 minutes late. You hear the jeers and taunts of the football jerks sitting behind you, but you sit through class anyway.
Courage is – your twin sister bleeding silently three rows behind, unable to stop the football jerks. She discreetly organizes an army of her friends to walk you to your classes and watch out for you.
Courage is – liking the pretty girl with the red hair who talks to you about anime and thinking about asking her to homecoming, even though it’s two months away.
Courage is – your mom texting you at lunch and realizing your day is unraveling, but trusting you to get through it without her help. She stays home instead of storming the school gates and explaining to the football jerks that teasing a kid with special needs is proof positive of small genitals and ugly souls.
Courage is – navigating the lunch line in a loud, new place when your one good friend was assigned a different lunch period.
Courage is – coming home so exhausted you fall asleep at 7 pm.
Courage is – going back to high school the second day.
K. M. Walker, OB/GYN, author, lover of radically original characters (in fiction and life). Creole speaker, Portuguese wine drinker. Obsessed with twins #DoctoringWhileFemale