Moose was an easy one for both Margaret and me. We could worship him from afar, Margaret from the other side of the lawn, and me from the safety of a book. Margaret was new in town, much younger than Moose, and a bit on the shy side--all distinct disadvantages. I was at a distinct disadvantage where Moose or anyone like Moose, aka, a boy was concerned. I had glasses and braces. And they weren't those nice little stick-on braces that they have now. The kind they have now can be practically invisible, undetectable. Let me assure you that if there was any hint of a light source nearby, my braces were plenty detectable. Those shiny silver bands went around each and every one of my teeth and they came with something really special: headgear. And mine wasn't the semi-acceptable kind that was somewhat hidden around the back of your neck. Nope. Mine had a form-fitting cap of sorts that rested on the back of my head and fed two giant wires to my mouth. I guess you'd have to see the "before" picture of me on my website (www.annhaywoodleal.com, if you don't believe me...it's the picture of the kid with the yo-yo) to fully appreciate the severity of my orthodontia. I didn't have to wear the headgear for the full twenty-four hours in the day...but it left a beautiful imprint on the back of my hair to make it look as if I was still wearing it.
Each of the fifteen plus times I read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret., I waited for Moose to really notice Margaret, as if Judy Blume had magically changed the story on me. If there was a chance for Margaret, maybe there was a chance for my 13-year-old self!