This Kid by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Photo of young girl with dog
Photo from Kathleen McKitty Harris

This is me in 1975, with one of my best friends: my grandparents’ dog Sandy. This kid became tough as fuck, even though she was scared to death for most of her young life. This kid wore hand-me-downs, even though she was an only child. This kid never liked Yoo-Hoos. This kid could write a New York Times bestseller and a Netflix series about her childhood, if she’d only stop scrolling on her phone. This kid lived in apartments until she was ten years old. This kid still has math anxiety from Catholic school and can’t figure out the tip on a check. This kid was asked to keep too many secrets, and now they spill out onto moleskin notebook pages and silk pillowcases. This kid was the first woman in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree, and the first person to go away to college, instead of commuting to school. This kid made Malachy McCourt laugh at a reading last week, and was tongue-tied about everything she wanted to say to him afterwards upon meeting, but managed to get out the words THANK YOU and it was good enough. This kid was taught sex ed by a nun. This kid misses the typewriters she used to write her stories on. This kid wore Buster Browns and had a cookie in her right shoe to remedy a turned foot – the same foot that her great-grandmother also wore a corrective shoe for, more than seventy years earlier. This kid was once her father’s blue-eyed Irish angel, but things have gotten complicated. This kid comes from resilient stock, and weakened spirits. This kid is feeling her age. This kid is a sassy asshole and a New York miracle. This kid better hurry up and tell her story.

Kathleen McKitty Harris
Kathleen McKitty Harris is a fifth-generation native New Yorker whose work has been published in The New York Times, Longreads, Creative Nonfiction, McSweeney’s, and The Rumpus, among others. Kathleen also performs as a storyteller, and has been featured on The Moth Podcast and on such stages as Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York City. She co-hosts the “What’s Your Story?” reading series in northern New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and two children. For more of her work, visit;; and

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