Wednesday, June 17, 2009

prodigy

Internet, did I ever tell you about the very first time I skipped school? It was in kindergarten.

Yes. That's right, kindergarten. The very first time I skipped school I was six-years-old.

It shouldn't surprise you, really. I mean, you don't get to the level of school-skipping proficiency I achieved by starting late. Literally years of dedicated practice went into making my high school career non-existent.

But I digress.

The very first time I skipped school was in kindergarten. I was standing on the playground during recess watching an older class rehearse a dance during P.E. Their teacher was wearing white and energetically demonstrating the Grapevine, her knees reaching surprising heights, her leg crosses dipping low to the ground. I was mesmerized.

I don't know what it was that made me finally turn around, but when I did my classmates had vanished. The playground was deserted, desolate, a veritable wasteland. Everyone was gone. Nobody on that huge stretch of asphalt but me, a gym class and their crazy, grapevining instructor.

I panicked.

Our house was only about three blocks away from school, and I decided to make a break for it. I had walked back and forth many times, but never alone, and never without a crossing guard. I felt very small and very unsure as I carefully navigated towards my house.

When I finally reached it, I ran to the door, planning to burst in and cry all over my mom. "Mom! MOM! EVERYONE WAS GONE AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!"

But the door was locked. So much for that plan.

I circled the house--the back door was locked, too. I banged with my tiny six-year-old fists, but no one was home to answer. I was ready to sit down in the driveway and have hysterics when I saw the small basement window. I think I'd seen my brother crawl through it, once. I tentatively pushed it open, and wriggled my way inside the house.

It's a scary thing to be all alone when you're six-years-old. Our home seemed huge and ominously silent. I was scared to be downstairs in my room. I was scared to be in the kitchen. I was scared to hide. I walked into the front living room and sat down on the couch. I crossed my ankles. I folded my arms. I don't think I moved for five minutes.

The phone rang, and I jumped, then ran to answer it.

"Hello?" I said quietly.

"Hello, may I speak with your mother?" a voice replied urgently.

"She's not here," I quavered.

"Is this Elizabeth?" the voice demanded.

"...yes," I began.

"This is Mrs. Lyons, you had better HUSTLE YOUR HEINIE BACK TO SCHOOL RIGHT..."

I hung up the phone.

Let me repeat that: I HUNG UP THE PHONE ON MY KINDERGARTEN TEACHER. WHO WAS YELLING AT ME.

If I'd been scared before, now I was in a state of complete terror. I glanced out the kitchen windows, afraid I'd see the police coming to get me. I wasn't exactly sure what punishment was used on little girls who hung up on their teachers, but I was pretty sure it involved jail time.

I got down on my hands and knees and crawled back to the couch, where I sat, statue-like, until my mom came home.

She was not happy to see me.

And that's really all I remember of the story.

Although I'm happy to report I did not end up imprisoned.

Just emotionally scarred.

and that's probably why I never was very good at attending school, AREN'T YOU SORRY YOU YELLED AT ME NOW, MRS. LYONS.

the end.

6 comments:

Ann-Marie said...

great story! did your mom take you back to school?

Amanda said...

A six-year-old delinquent?!?! Who knew? No wonder you were so good at slacking off all through high school

Ashley said...

You need to write a book-- child psychology maybe? You do realize that is like another yearish away for your eldest! Ahhhh!

Megan & Trever Ford said...

no wonder you hate school, wow...so sad.

Trudy said...

You do need to write a book. Your blog always makes me laugh and smile!I wish we lived closer. Especially since I live by a JCrew now for the first time in my life and I think you would be a partner in crime with me...:)

Trudy said...

Sorry, this is Jen Russell- I am at my in-laws and so it's logged in under my MIL's name