"Little Man" by Melissa Wabnitz Pumayugra

When I am a man, I will wear tuxedos to school, and a top hat, and say “Good day” to every person that I meet, even if I don’t know what kind of person they are. I want to have good manners, this seems right.

When I am a man, I will open car doors and carry flowers to give to beautiful people and balloons to give to children, except, I don’t want to kill sea turtles, so they have to be paper mache, but not for hitting with sticks. I will take away sticks from children, and turn them into something that people can burn for warmth instead.

When I am a man, I will be taller than my mother. I can reach on the top shelf and grab anything I want, even all the boxes of Captain Crunch if I want to. Over and over again, I will eat my cereal. I will also know where she hides the Christmas presents, but because I will be a gentleman, I won’t even peek.

When I am a man, I know that women will want me. They will take secret pictures of me and share them on their Internet things. I will make movies with them. They will buy me new underwear like my grandma does for her boyfriend, Frankie J. I know because she holds them up sometimes to me, but I am not Frankie, and I don’t know if they fit him well. He’s taller, but we are the same otherwise. I’m smarter, I think.

When I am a man, I will try to be fair. If two squirrels are arguing about a nut they buried and can’t remember who did it, I can crack it in half for them and share it. I don’t know if I can speak squirrel, but I can speak loud at least, probably.

When I am a man, my mom says I will want to be a boy again. I don’t think so, but maybe in a million years, someone will think of me and wonder, “Who is this kid, and why are they so cool?”. When I am a man, I can turn into an imaginary friend for anyone who needs it. No one I know will be lonely, because I can be there to talk to them, and to make sure they aren’t scared anymore.

When I am a man, I can hide fast, and go to another world if I need to, and I want to take my mother there too. When I am a man, she won’t need another Ronnie or James. She won’t want to have anyone else, with any new belts, with any fast cars that break all the time, and I will be the only person she needs.

When I am a man, I will be grown up. I will make my own choices. And I don’t know if I will choose to be a man, or if I will want to be a child again. Maybe I will choose to be someone new, like Santa Clause? I just know that I won’t be me. And I won’t be here.