Tuesday, April 9, 2013

From Left to Write: Afterwards

Tall black rubber rain boots, navy chino shorts, topped with a nearly too small Pok√©mon t-shirt.

Utilizing her new skill, she pulls her hair back into a low ponytail, heading for the screen door.

Metal on metal sounds as she slides the worn screen door open, calling out, “I’m coming, Dad!  Wait for me!”

Rain boots making her tiny feet look and sound bigger than they are race across the deck as her ponytail dances on her shoulders, absolutely tickled with delight to help her Dad with yard work.

An audible gasp escapes my lips, caught in one of those rare moments when life simultaneously stands still and flashes forward.

She’s a decade older, a sixteen year old girl a few feet from me, embracing life, even the simple moments.

I couldn’t tear my eyes from the little girl in front of me or from the teenager I’ll one day meet.

She’s burned into my heart now.

Looking forward to when the two girls will become one, but for now, I’ll hold on to the li’l girl and her small hands that still look for encouragement and guidance a while longer.
This post was inspired by the novel Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton. After witnessing her children's school set ablaze, Grace attempts to find the arsonist as her teenage daughter lies in a coma in Lupton's suspense thriller. Join From Left to Write on April 11 as we discuss Afterwards. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Writer's Workshop: { Seventh Grade Bookends }

Boarding the yellow school bus, the last stop on the route, was hell.

There were a lot of us waiting to climb aboard.  There were never enough seats left.  One child made the less-than-brilliant move to mark my li'l brother's neck with ballpoint pen.  It was the '80s and I'd bet my favorite Bic pens were the culprit - I preferred blue, but that day black was used.

That bus.  That bus stop.  Those kids.  I couldn't stand it.

I needed another method of transportation to the seventh grade.  Definitely.

Feet.  They worked.  Often.

On the days I needed to go faster, a bicycle worked.  Black and white ten speed.  Pedals turning.  Chain cycling.  Wheels rotating.  Faster.

Two get-myself-to-school memories are etched into the ol' brain.  Perfectly placed bookends.

Fall.  And then falling.  Autumn coats the air.  Pumping the pedals to climb the last hill to campus.  Two nameless boys in front as I miss the rhythm, pulling a right leg too early to hop off.  Landing hard.

"Eat dirt?!!"

Grumbling internally.  Some unknown, surely less than witty remark to hide the embarrassment, tossed their way.  Rising up to walk the bike the remaining distance.  A big, huge hole at the knee of the only pair of jeans - any pants at all - owned.

I wore skirts the rest of the seventh grade.

By spring, a friend from the same neighborhood, was joining me on the avoid-the-yellow-school-bus trek.

The oh-my-goodness-what-am-I-going-to-tell-my-mom about this or that talk that went on as we walked home caused giggles to erupt.  But, it's The Pole memory that is the solid bookend to the get-myself-to-school memories.

Once a week, the school newspaper - a two sided ditto - came out.  We took turns reading it to each other, whether we were on bike or foot.

Coming out of the wooded patch, onto the steep hill, we climbed.  Once at the top, the street leveled out.  Then it was much easier to dive into the school news.

She read to me, completely captured by whatever tale that courier font regaled.  Listening intently, I no more saw what was in front of her than she did.

A pole.  A light pole?  I don't know what exactly it was in the moment.  But, she walked right into, school newspaper in hand.


From that day on, it was her pole.

Every school day after, she would give her pole a li'l hug as we passed by it, on our way home.

And on the last day of school, we even stopped to photograph her with it.

I'd share it with you, but then I'm sure she'd have to kill me.  And I'm not ready to do dead.

So, that particular seventh grade memory bookend will stay right where it is.

But, I remember both experiences vividly - acid wash jeans destined to become cutoffs after I crashed and burned in front of those boys for me and navy blue shorts, navy blue & white stripped tee for her and her pole.

I. Loved. Seventh. Grade.

You know how I'm sure?

My memory banks are bursting from that particular year.  Thank goodness.

Ran with Mama Kat's first prompt: a seventh grade memory.  I had oodles to choose from for that particular year.  So, to keep indecisiveness at bay, I ran with the bookends!
What do you remember from your seventh grade year?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Great Expectations

Guess where I get to hang out right now?

Greta, the fun, totally real mama of four, invited me to spend the day with her at G*Funki*fied.

Twitter struck again and led my way to the lady with the sassy pants and I'm so glad it did!  She tells it like it is, shares her fun family photos a la her Project 365, working towards her 2013 running goal (she's totally rocking it) with #Mamavation, and we've found a common bond through her own kidlet gluten free journey.  Make sure to join her #iPPP linkup, sharing phone snapped photos on Wednesdays.

Come on over to Greta's place where I'm sharing what happens when I'm desperate...and just how much I trust my husband.  And then stay awhile and visit with Greta!

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