When Lydia Becomes a Dinosaur
by Rachael K. Jones
The truth is, try as we might to fight it, some little girls will grow up to be dinosaurs. Denying it doesn't make it any easier, but still. It's hard. They'll shoot up like sauropods. Their skin will segment into mosaic scales, or if they're of a scientific mind, feather plumes. They'll give their friends tyrannosaurus-back rides around the park, faster and faster until they all collapse giggling into a dizzy heap, the child-voices like flutes, the dino-voices like guitars. They'll pin their big brothers for a bout of revenge-tickling, and only go on a little bit after the boys gasp and yell Stop.
At first we'll write it off as normal, just another phase on the way to adulthood. We won't believe Lydia could be anything other than an ordinary little girl. When she springs up like a beanpole almost overnight, we'll say, "She's tall for her age," and "It's just a growth spurt." We'll say she's got short arms like her dad at that age. We'll say she's a picky eater, and that she has ADHD, and a thousand other things to explain it away. But when she outgrows the ballet flats, we'll quietly buy her some dinosaur shoes that fit perfectly--in hot pink, of course, because after all, she's still Lydia.