I hearded the boys to their room where J turned on his light to read about a crochet stitch he wanted to try, and C snuggled into his quilt, just his head poking out. . . I grumble good naturedly about the mess, hold up a pair of underwear J swears, "They're clean mom!" and I toss them and tell him, "You check." He laughes, and replies "They smell like laundry detergent!" as they fly into the open drawer. Trying not to let their room drive me crazy, I settle onto the unofficial reader's pillow on the floor between the two beds, open up Ramona the Brave to "Owl Trouble" and read.
When the class pulled out paper bags to decorate as owls, I felt zapped by Ramona, such a connection! Was I that girl? Oh, how it drove me crazy when another child copied and the teacher didn't notice, or worse. . .PRaised their work! I grew up with Ramona, though I scarecly recall reading her books as a child, in that age of "no tattletales", "no copycats" teachers who never seemed to notice me, unless it was for something I didn't do. . .The one time I recall being noticed for doing something a teacher liked, it somehow felt just as humiliating. I read the chapter tweaking my voice to sound a little dumber than Susan might have deserved, but I don't care for copycats either, I am with Ramona on this one for sure! If I was brave enough that day, I may have thrown my owl away too. . .Ok. I was a bit too timid to really be Ramona. I read on to the end, and when Ramona looked in her new mirror of her new room. . . "Ramona thought of herself as the kind of girl everyone should like, but this girl. . ." Sigh, there I am again.
I lie here on my kids floor a split second I am, 6 with that mean teacher who didn 't seem to care about what was right as much as she wanted to avoid tattletalers and copycats. Pressure built, when she yelled at me for writing on my desk, only it wasn't me, our desks got switched. I actually ran like Ramona out of school, my six year old self screamed "I hate you"and I ran. Why did school have to feel so hard back then? Is it still this hard for our kids? I know, if I listen to the stories my boys tell, it is. It is just as hard, but usually for other reasons, teachers have come a long way.
I scanned and reached around for the bookmark, but it had strangely disappeared. The page was already folded over, J read this chapter already. So I placed the book into the old school desk that C tucks with books and stuff. I stood, stretched than leaned against C's bed to scratch every inch of C's back, just like he likes, then gave J a shoulder rub, he was engrossed in that crochet stitch and wouldn't notice anything else right now. Saying "Goodnight! Sleep Well." I flicked off the overhead light, C smiled and I headed for the stairs, still thinking about Ramona, and me.