I so desperately wanted to get back to third grade. I did everything in my little -big girl power to show Mr. Luna. I handed in my math homework on time. This time without any ketchup, mustard or hot sauce stains. Hey no judgement please! I even washed the dishes.
However, the only way to do homework was over a bowl of tomato soup and sometimes if I’m lucky spicy grilled cheese. Of course I added the hot sauce. My big-haired sister complained. “Mama Krissy’s using all the hot sauce again.” To that mama would answer, “I better have enough for my spicy fried chicken!” I quickly put away mama’s special hot sauce and finished multiplying by two’s.
Yes homework was a breeze but reading to kids my own age was terrifying. Somehow I got up in front of the whole class everyday, like I knew what I was doing.
Mr. Luna finally caved-in about half-way through the second grading period and welcomed me back to class.
O’h was I over the moon and back again. So much so, I volunteered to staple all the Holiday Papers for Christmas break. Mr. Luna gave out a serious warning “Krissy with so many papers to staple, be extremely careful.”
There I was watching the clock, could 2:45 pm go any faster? Never mind that! I had four stacks of paper to staple and deliver to every student by 3:05 pm. Christopher Jones shouted “there’s no way she’s gonna finish in time!
Thoughts started jumping in and out my head o’ he’s so-o-o- right. What was I thinking? That’s the thing, I wasn’t thinking. I had to be miss goody two-shoe. Staple everybody ‘s paper and now I’m in deep water.
I turned my head for a split second, to say something back to Christopher Jones. Before I could muster up a smart remark. I heard a very loud crunch. I look down. I didn’t start freaking out right away. Its just when the paper and my thumb started bleeding.
Mr. Luna had no words, just pointed me toward the door. I knew I’d blew it. There I was sitting in the nurse’s office. Mrs. Polk, the nurse, had glasses that hung off the edge of her pointy nose. She said, “what is it this time? I stapled my thumb. Mrs. Polk snickered “Krissy, I’m not even a bit surprised, you’ll live.” And it turns out, staples go straight through thumbs if your not careful.
P.S. If you’d stayed all the way till the end, from my heart to yours, thank you. And if you’d like to know what happens next stay tune,
I’ll be back with more stories from my real life third grade childhood.
One thing I could always count on was morning prayer. Even when things went wrong, bouncing around seem to be my middle name. Sometimes we moved across town only to move back downtown. Only to slide back over to the east of the city. The one thing that remained constant was prayer.
I can remember the all night prayers huddled around the living room. I can remember mama and her holy oil. Glued to the walls and metallic wallpaper. I can remember the smell of castor oil and frankincense. I can remember the pouring of water in ceramic bowls. Two of my mother’s bowls were split down the center.
Crackling of waters in clay.
We stood, we bowed, we laid prostrate,
we gave our prayers to faith,
we surrendered those days,
where the nightmare seemed to creep behind those prayers we prayed
here we are counting broken-ness, as our eyes grew legs searching for the sun.
there we are, staying all night if we had to, until the fetters of our minds were done.
some said, “it didn’t take all that” but we prayed
to keep our sanity,
some said “they didn’t have time to pray” but mama said she “could pray any time, anywhere. In whisper, softly and moaned. Through song, until the prayers got down to the bone.
we prayed while our faith seemed weak and worn out
we prayed with no money in our pockets
we prayed together, we prayed alone
we prayed with eviction notice in our hands
we prayed picking iron beds and recycled soda cans
and I still believe miracles happen when you pray.
I am Eva -former refugee, doctor and a writer. My parents were Holocaust survivors, I escaped communism. I wrote a novel, mixing family stories and fiction. A novel about Holocaust, communism, racism and emigration. What makes people leave, and what happens to the ones who do, and to the ones who stay. I believe these old stories are more important now than ever before.