Ha! I had a similar experience as a child. I shared the word ‘pussy’ with my neighbor, who was also a very petite, delicate girl, telling her what it meant. She yelled to her mother and asked if it was true, and her mother responded ‘no, she’s lying, that’s not a real word’ and they both shamed me for being a liar.
I relate so much, I was the same—always roaming free with the boys and getting in trouble for taking the other girls with me on my ‘dangerous’ climbing adventures. And while my expression of this side of me has changed, I still feel very much like the little girl I was growing up, before any kind of societal indoctrination had set in—before I knew what shame even meant.
Congrats on your publication and all the best of luck you wild woman!