In our mothers’ closets live our first kisses, pictures from the prom. Dusty photo albums, pages yellowed and worn, Love’s Baby Soft scented letters bound by the same red ribbons we wore to our first day of kindergarten.
We are women. As girls we watched our mothers cut crusts from our fathers’ toast, chiding us for leaving ours uneaten.
We are women. We still see our mothers’ shadows as they wiped the last dinner dishes dry and slid behind bathroom doors latched against us.
We are women. As teenagers we talked the night away, planning our lives through phone lines, naming unborn children, doodling our names in combinations with boys who still pulled our hair in math classes.
We are women. In our childhood bedrooms we began the collections that would someday be relegated to our mothers’ closets. We went to sleep wearing football jerseys breathing in the sweat and cologne of the boys who chased us down the hallways and as we drifted dreamily away, we wondered fleetingly why hours later we never heard the bathroom doors unlatch, especially when we knew there were piles of wrinkled clothes waiting to be ironed.
I write because I had a grandmother who once lived and told me I can.