Writing the self-2 “Not Quite Pocahontas”

Sitting on the floor with VHS tapes scattered everywhere. Hmmm which one to watch today?

“Mom! Mom! Mom! Can we watch Pocahontas?” I hope she hears me from in the kitchen.  “Ok just give me a minute I’ll be right there.” Mom puts the movie in and pushes play.

My skin has always been a little more brown than my friends. I have blue eyes and light hair, but I have tan skin and in the summer my skin turns even more brown. My best friend Cheryl has pale skin almost white, blue eyes and blonde hair. Her skin stays the same all summer long. I never really noticed though until I watched Pocahontas for the first time. I realize my Nanna and cousins look a lot like them. I kind of look like them too but not as much. I wonder if I’m like Pocahontas. When i see Nanna, I’m going to ask her why she looks like them.

“Nanna are you like Pocahontas!?! “

“Well sweetie I’m Cree which means I am like Pocahontas because Cree is a type of native. But do you know what that means? It means your mommy is Cree too, which means you are also part Cree. So that means you’re like Pocahontas too.” My eyes open wide my imagination going wild with a million questions. “Wow really?! Is that why I like walking barefoot and can climb trees so good because I’m like them? Is that why I’m such a good swimmer?”

“Well that could be part of the reason why you like all those things, sure!”

“WOW Nanna that’s amazing I can’t wait to tell Cheryl that I’m like Pocahontas!”

Cheryl lives across the street from me; our moms like to have coffee while we play together in the yard. “Cheryl guess what!  My Nanna told me I’m native just like Pocahontas and Nakoma so that means I’m one with nature.”  “Oh wow Nikki that’s so cool, that must be why you’re so good at braiding!”  “Yeah, wanna see how I braid this long grass?! Mom also says I can be Nakoma for Halloween because I’m just like her! Mom even got me boots that look just like Nacoma’s, they’re called Muklucks!”

vThis is the day I realized I wasn’t quite the same as my friends and not the exact same as Pocahontas either. Watching Pocahontas for the first time as a small child I realized I was like her. Well, not Pocahontas precisely because she is a bit whiney, I was more like Nakoma. Even though my skin was not as brown as hers, I cherished the fact that there was a reason I loved being barefoot and in the trees. To this day I still love being barefoot and the same trees I climbed as a child now grow in my yard and that copy of Pocahontas still sits on the shelf at my parents’ house.

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