Monday, March 06, 2006

Yes, That's a K.

On one particularly cold Chanukah night, my sister and I waited in impatient anticipation for our gifts after singing Mao Tzur along with our father. My mother came into the front room carrying my brother in one arm and our presents in the other. My present was small and suspiciously slim, and I knew right away something that small couldn’t be good.
I tore the colorful wrapping and lifted out a book with a picture of a lion in pajamas dragging a stuffed animal in one hand and holding his stomach with the other. I asked my mother to read it to me.
“This is for you,” She said cheerfully. “You’re going to read it!”
But she was wrong. I was not going to read it.
“I can’t.” I said. “I don’t want to read it. You read it to me.”
Sensing the weather shift ahead and ignoring it, my mother forged on in her ever upbeat way.
“No, this is for you and you are going to learn how to read with this book.”
The last thing I was ever going to do was read to myself. The second to last thing I was ever going to do was listen to what my mother told me. I threw the book across the room and threw myself into a fit on the floor. I spent an hour screaming and crying alone while my parents and sister went into the kitchen to enjoy latkes and seek refuge from my almost daily tantrum. The floor felt cold against my empty stomach, and I found myself walking into the kitchen.
“Oh good, you stopped crying. Would you like a latke and to read the book for us, maybe?”
“No.”
“Knowledge is power--what’s so bad about reading?”
“It’s not like we’ll stop reading to you if you know how to; you’ll just be able to do it on your own, too!”
“I’M NOT GOING TO READ!”
I knew what my parents were trying to do. I was no fool and I was not going to stand by and let it happen. Knowing how to read meant that they would never read to me again and it was about time I put my foot down.
“You are going to read.” I was told. “Go get the book and I’ll help you.”
I sat down at the kitchen table after letting everyone know that I wasn’t going to get the book and demanded a latke. Another fit later and I found myself somewhere near the top of the basement steps. My father sat next to me and handed me the book. It sat on my lap and I watched it burn the last bits of my umbilical cord.
“S.”
“Yes.”
“O.”
“Good.”
“Ssssoooo?”
“Excellent!”
I felt a tear start.
“This is an S. I?”
“Yup.”
The tear moved and I let it slide through my lids. I kept reading.
“Sssssssiiiiiiiiiiiii. C. K, right?”
“Yes, that’s a K.”
“Ck. Sssssiiiiiiiiick. Sick. So Sick!”
“Yay!” My father said. “Doesn’t that feel great? You just read the whole title!”
He leaned over to kiss me on my head and a second tear followed the first. I cried while reading most of So Sick! that night. My stomach hurt from reading, and from knowing that I was never going to be read to again. But sure enough, my mother read to me before bed that night as promised.

I'm really bored with my writings.

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6 original thoughts out there

Blogger Naphtoli said...

He walked into the red darkness of his bedroom. Tripped over his roommate's shoes and stubbed his toe on an ill-placed chair... "Dammit Naphtoli, pay attention to where you're going!" he whispered in frustration and pain. he then sat down on his bed, his pain doubled; and mourned the death of the name of his birth.
Don't know why I wrote that, but your story made me think of it.
Not so bored,
Nigel/Naphtoli

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 6:28:00 AM  
Anonymous sara said...

why are you thinking of chanukah now? its almost spring. yayayay!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

Really, I just have to write a second draft of an essay and that was part of the first draft. So yeah...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Baal Teshuva Benny said...

I had an extremely similar episode with my folks, only it happened three days ago :)
...the fit i threw was one for the ages. BTW how old where you?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 2:06:00 PM  
Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

3 or 4...I'm not sure which, but probably 4.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous ian the kid at heart said...

My mom or my dad, but usually my dad, read to my every night until I was at least 10. We read the whole "Lord of the Rings" series at least twice and also the whole "Narnia" and "Little House on the Prairie" serieses. I loved it and I still miss it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006 11:50:00 PM  

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