An ode to a bag

They all have known that if there ever were to be a fire you’d be the only thing that cannot stay behind.

By Mary Figueroa

Dear Kipling Backpack,

You’ve been on my back since I was 6 years old. If you had eyes.

With a good wash you are good as new. You are by far my most trusted and loyal companion.

You’ve met all my elementary school crushes, met all my boyfriends. They all have known that if there ever were to be a fire you’d be the only thing that cannot stay behind.

You’ve been there for every heartbreak.

What a fantastic travel BFF you are. You have traveled to every single place I’ve ever been to. Morocco, France, Switzerland, London, the entire Carribean and helped me see parts of my own country with the peace of mind that without fail you would hold all that I needed.

You’ve held my babysitting money in the front pocket until recently. Now you hold real plastic. Real debit cards and credit cards. We are adults now.

So many firsts I’ve had with you.

Every first day of school.

My first kiss. 

The day I got my driver’s license.

First flight and also first time in first class.

First real paycheck.

First time at Disney World.

First time I got drunk.

First job. 

Held the tampons and pads during my first period.

First time I got bullied.

First time I didn’t let myself get bullied.

Held my first passport.

Held the keys to my first car.

Held my cat when I first snuck him into our home, he is still with us.

Held my first secret.

My college acceptance letter and rejection letters.

My first sleep over.

My first all-nighter.

Held my first pregnancy test when in middle school my friends told me you could get pregnant from being in a hot tub with boys.

First gynecologist appointment.

First time I walked to the top of the Eiffel tower.

Rode my first roller coaster.

Auditioned for my first show.

Took my first French class.

Sung in front of a thousand people.

Held every letter my brother sent me from bootcamp.

Seen all of my tears.

When I first learned to meditate.

When I first learned Santa Clause wasn’t real.

When I first lied to my parents.

When I first named a star.

My first homework assignment.

Held my first set of crayons.

When I first realized the world wasn’t just a beautiful place.

When I first learned to ride a bike.

When my parents got divorced.

First time I almost died.

First time I realized I Ioved myself.

You’ve held and lived through every single one of my dreams and every other first in between.

Thank you.