Whilst in the home country for my birthday last week (a post on that shenanigan to follow shortly), my grandmother handed me this gem:
This is a fourth grade, North Carolina writing test practice exam. Apart from an epic lice outbreak, writing this story is the only tangible memory I have from that year in school. Here's the brilliant, unedited text (no, really, I proofread to make sure all the errors are still there):
"Tip. Tap. Tip. Tap." went the sound of my shoes on the side walk. I was going home from the park. I glansed up at the dark blue sky. I saw a glising white falling star. Sinse my dad told me that when you see a falling star, and make a wish, it might come true, I slowly closed my eyes titly and wished that I could go back in time so I could see my grandma again, who died last year. I hoped my wish would come true.Suddenly a strong cold gust of wind blew. It started to blow faster and faster. I closed my eyes titer and thought, "This is it. It might work." All of a suden, the stronge wind stoped and turned into a calm brezze. I slowly lifed my eyelids. There in front of me was a house. It white with black suters on the windows. I imediatly knew it was my grand mothers house.
I ran franticly to the huge front door a quickly tured the door knob. The door jurked open and I steped in side. Threre write before my very eyes was an old lady with culy white hair and skin as rikly as a rinkle in a peice of paper. "Gradema is that you?" I asked in amazment. The lady lansed towered me and exlamed "Jason! I haven't seen you in two weeks. My cookies are geeting stale becase know one was here to eat them." I could tell by the look on her face that she was happy to see me.
My Meema (aka father's mother) loves this story because I wrote it about her mother, Roxie. She lived to the ripe old age of 98, and passed when I was in the second grade. It's the first memory I have of loss, so it will stay with me forever. I don't think we ever sat at the table and told secrets (and if we did I was too young to remember); in fact, I don't even remember what her voice sounded like. But she had kind eyes and nimble hands.We walked to the brightly colored kitchen with big smiles on our faces. She handed me a chocolate chip cookie, and said in a happy way, "Lets sit down at the table and tell secrets." I just loved telling secrets with my grandma because she keeps them. My brother just tells everyone in sight my secrets, but gradma I could allways trust her to keep a secret. We sat down at the enormous kitchen table and told secrets."Yesterday." I told her "I was walking down the street and triped over a rock and when I fell I spit the back of my pants.""Oh, I'll keep that one," she sang out, laughing as hard as she could.All of a sudden to my suprise I was standing in the dirty path at the park. "Darn" I said to myself, "It was just geeting good." That was the day I made a wish on a falling star and it came true.
This was the first time I had people tell me I was good at writing. I was more concerned about the Dragon Ball Z marathon playing on our fancy new satellite TV to care about such things, but the seed was planted. I should have practiced spelling more. I've barely improved.
What's most remarkable to me about this story is the first line. '"Tip. Tap. Tip. Tap." went the sound of my shoes on the side walk.' Now read the title of this blog.
My mother and I read this together and both realized the similarity at the same time.
"No wonder you always liked wearing cowboy boots," she said. "You liked the height and the sound on hard floors."
What can I say? The concrete loved my shoes long before I even realized it (see also this and this).
I honestly wish I had more memories of my childhood. Well, not so much memories, but thoughts. I wish I could remember what was going through my head when I wrote that first line. How did I picture myself then? How did I picture myself in the future? What would I say if I saw myself now, but back then?
I would probably make a turban out of my tighty-whiteys while no one was looking (although I'm 99% sure I totally did that).