We were in the second grade, lining up at our classroom door to make the trek through our narrow halls, single file, to gym class. Somewhere in line, Gregory – the kid whose head was shaped like the Panic Pete stress toy – tossed out some snide comments about girls. Another classmate, Christopher, overheard the comments and responded with, “I think boys and girls can do everything equally.”

illustration of little me smiling

I remember smiling at this kid who I didn’t know very well. He was one of the nicer kids in class. All of a sudden, I had a newfound respect for him, because I began writing a story in my head about how Christopher was the kind of kid who would stand up for what was right. It must have been a very short story because I don’t recall any other memories of him after that day.