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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Memoir Prompt: I Remember When

(I am participating in a Memoir Prompt activity. Eight minutes of writing, three prompts a week, unedited stream of consciousness.

At this point in my life, I am writing for me. Those who have been a part of my life and have tender feelings, know this going in!)

I remember, back in my middle school days, living in Italy, when it was report card day.
I hated report card day.

I hated school.
I hated the social aspect of school- I didn't fit in well with most of the girls, I was a tomboy and fairly socially awkward. I got hit hard by that ugly stick, no lie.
Not only did I hate school, but I wasn't that good at it. Not that I couldn't have been, mind you, I just didn't CARE that much about it. Homework? Meh, why bother?

My parents would ask me, "Do you have any homework?" and I would blithely reply "Nope!" or come up with some strategic lie about having finished it at school or whatever. And off I would go to play, or read a book, or do whatever I would do.

The time would come, of course, for The Reckoning.
In the life of a middle schooler, that is Report Card Day.

Oh, how I would drag my feet on the walk home from the bus stop.
My brother, God love him, would be skipping along merrily with his near-perfect report card, with me hissing behind him to not show it to them dear God can we just not tell them we have our report cards PLEASE?

Yeah, good luck with that.

I have no idea what my parents must have thought quarter after quarter, year after year, about this kid with the crappy report card. I'm sure they must have been disappointed, aggravated, furious even. They were paying for private school for us and they could not have picked a kid who seemingly cared less.
I really think I would have slapped my kids silly, but oddly they are not of me regarding school, but of my husband, and they all do well.

But for this I Remember When, I remember this:

Standing before my Father with said report card in his hands and expecting the worst.
He looked at me, with a measured gaze, and then he suggested we go down to the corner market and play video games (or something like that. I can't exactly remember. But honestly, it was something like that, or get ice cream, or SOMETHING LIKE THAT.)

I looked back at him, stunned. Confused. Perhaps waiting for the earth to spin off its axis or to be struck by lightning.

Instead, I took his hand, and walked with him out of the door and to the corner.
My hand was secure in his and amidst my feelings of shame and failure, I knew that for him, regardless, I was enough.

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