Back to School Part 2
8:42 AM |

The cloudless skies and breeze carrying BBQ aroma meant it was time to go home and spring-ify my mum’s house this weekend. We oiled the bike chains, put the screens on the windows and beat the rugs out under the sun. We laughed when I dyed my hands green with rust remover (oops!) and when my sister beat the Turkish rug with a frying pan.

As the tallest femme of the house, it was my job to go down to the basement and turn on the water taps at the furthest, most awkward ceiling points in the storage rooms. After tip toeing on my left foot, bracing my right on a Lego castle and holding the corner of the winter coat box for safety, I turned the faucet, and noticed a picture of me out of the corner of my eye. Me circa 1995. I was wearing a satin belly T-shirt and plaid shorts dancing with my sister, who must have been about two, in our living room. I regained my footing and rearranged my hand position to investigate, and found it was a box I’d put away after sixth grade, when I switched rooms and got my own after sharing with my sister.

I miraculously transferred the box from the shelf top to the floor without any falling, throwing or displaced ligaments. When I sat down beside it and opened up the four folds of the box top, I was faced with evidence of my overly dramatic, keen, organized and pencil crayon-loving glory years.

I found my gymnastics ribbons, my Girl Guide sashes, pictures I’d taken on my Smartie box-shaped Astral camera at the park with my friends. There were pamphlets from our family trip to Disney World, a copy of 16 magazine with JTT and Marc-Paul Gosselar (circa bleach hair) on the cover. A picture of me proudly holding up my new Walkman at Christmas 1993, one of me and my still best friends with pink icing on our faces after a cake-eating contest at my 1995 birthday, and of A and I posing by our school’s slides after our grade six carnival. The best finds of the box were my grade 5 and 6 journals.

On the first day of fifth grade, I wrote about my family, which girls I planned on hanging out with that year (many of whom I still talk to!), what music I liked (C’mon Ride It by the Quad City DJs) and what I wanted to be when I grew up. Lo and behold, in number 2 HB pencil was written, “I want to be a journalist here in Ottawa and I want to go to Carleton University, the best journalism school in the country!” I found the newspaper I started later that fifth grade year, and like a true media baron, named, earned creative control and essentially took over. I found my “cleanest desk” awards (geek!) and my progress charts, which today translate into “major keener, nerd alert!”

I found notes from my still best friends, K and A. A wrote, “I love his dimples, they are soooooo cute! It’s so awesome our boyfriends are best friends too,” about our soccer-playing boyfriends we both vowed we’d marry based on the puppy-love shared through friendship bracelets, passed notes and winks. K wrote, “My mum is the meanest, she won’t let me visit A anymore, I can only see her at school, it’s so unfair,” after K broke her collar bone visiting A’s house and her worrisome parents put our mutual best friend A in the ban book, at least for a few months. “Wanna have a sleepover? Let’s watch “Grease”, I think Danny looks like B!”

I was embarrassed by some of the stuff I wrote. Man, those teachers deserve some credit for being patient with our dramatic, telenovela playground epics:

“I thought E was my best friend, but she has been ignoring me. What do I do? She means so much to me, it makes me want to cry that she is casting me aside.”

“I saw people smoking cigarettes on the hill. Then some of our friends were talking to them. Why are they even talking to people whose lifespan is being cut short by the ridiculous decision they’ve made to inhale poison? I can’t stand idly by and watch this, perhaps its time for new friends”

“A broke up with him again. He threw rocks at her. We cried, because we were so sad for the loss of love.”

Who WRITES that in fifth grade? Hahaha. A wonderful trip back to elementary school via a moving box found in the storage room.

Labels: , ,