Without a Childhood III
Chapter 2, Part 2
I had gone to a school called Menger Elementary School. It was a two-story building, from what I remember and, to a little kid, it was like a huge castle. It also had an after school program for those who couldn't go home right away. I liked it a lot. I played a lot of games with a few kids, although we did have homework time...at least, I think we did. I wasn't a very good student, no matter how hard I tried to be. That part of my school life before moving was okay before I was forced to move to another town in Texas that was located just across the Harbor Bridge.
Portland was roughly about ten to fifteen miles away from the city of my birth. Nothing really changed. My education continued to suffer at the elementary school that attended in the next town over. I had very few friends and bullied quite often. There was this kid named C.J and he was nice to everyone…everyone but me, of course. What was so wrong with me that got me that kind of treatment? I guess he hated me because I was teacher’s pet. Everybody hates a teacher's pet, I guess. I will admit that I often asked myself what was so wrong with me all they way up through my teen years.
I loved my second grade teacher, Ms. Hamlin. She was the nicest teacher that I ever had. When I had first transferred to East Cliff, she held me in her lap and I loved the attention. I felt loved by my teacher, too. I probably could guess that was the reason why C.J didn’t like me. I always had to have the attention on me. Can you blame me? I never got proper attention from my biological mother nor from my sister. The only time that I got all of the attention was when I was being paraded at a catholic church. I know that I sound whiny and everything but, hey, that had been part of my personality at the time.
When I was still in second grade, school officials decided to test me to see if I needed to be placed in special education classes. Of course, there was nothing wrong with me in that regard, although my parents decided to have me tested again at another place just to make sure I was okay. My grades were absolutely horrible, hence the special education suggestion made by the school officials. I proved them wrong. I was smart, but I just couldn't show it or concentrate on my studies. It wasn't that I couldn't read, because I could. I just had an extremely difficult time understanding the material that was presented to me in class and my parents knew it.
For example I had gotten an eighteen on a math paper, involving long division, in the third grade. Another time, I had received a seven on a small science project. As time passed on, I kept getting late homework slips and I often received a second slip for not returning the first slip. Somehow, I managed to get by not turning them in. I'm not exactly sure how I got by with this. If I had to make a guess, I would want to say that they either forgot or just gave up on me. I guess they thought I was a helpless case and that I wasn't worth the trouble.
I took this to my advantage, of course, since my parents never got calls from the teachers themselves about the slips. I hid these notification in a board game and kept the board game hidden inside my room. My parents never noticed (at least, I think they didn’t. I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed). Once they were completely forgotten and my parents were nowhere to be seen, I destroyed all of the evidence. I guess you can say that I was something of a delinquent. I even cut tutoring sessions because I didn't have the desire to learn. I wanted to have fun and go play outside. I even had the nerve to steal back one of my toys from the teacher’s desk. I had given my toy to a classmate so she could play with it. She took it back to class and was playing with it while my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Henicke, was teaching the day's lesson. She took my toy away from my classmate and put it on her desk. I was mad. I told my classmate that I wanted it back, but no. She wanted to play with it.
When we went to recess later on in the day, I volunteered to go get the huge bouncy ball (think of an over sized dodge ball) and while I was getting the ball, I went over to the teacher’s desk and took my yo-yo back and slipped it into my backpack. I was lucky enough that the teacher didn’t notice. If she did, I would have gotten into trouble and the class jerk (also known as C.J) wouldn’t have let me live it down. I thought I would never have to steal again, but I was wrong. It seemed that my bad habit of stealing hadn’t gone away. Anything that was mine, I had to have back…even if it meant resorting to stealing it back. I suppose that if I had continued down this path then I would have ended up in prison or dead.
My only source of consolation at that time was at a local daycare center. It was a First Baptist Church in the little town that I lived in then. After school, there would be a van waiting to pick up all of us daycare students. I was happy to be in a place where I could do my own thing. I was actually allowed to be a kid and not have to worry about the stress at home. I had kids my own age to play with and completely unaware of the past that I had.
When I was about eight years old, there was a party at my birth mother’s parent’s house. My birth mother had me for the weekend and so I had to go. There were a lot of people there, most of them strangers. I jumped and danced about with my relatives, like any kid would do at a party. The party went late and I was getting tired. I told my so-called mom that I was tired and I was going to sleep in the guest bedroom. I told her to wake me up when it was time to leave. She said that she would and I went to go sleep. The woman never did.
© 2013 Jennifer