When I was in Grade 11 in English class we studied Romeo and Juliet. For the record this is my least favourite Shakespeare play. Regardless, it’s standard to teach it in high school. As an exercise the teacher asked us to write about a time we disobeyed our parents. For those of you that don’t remember or somehow got out of reading that play Romeo and Juliet disobeyed their parents by their courtship and eventual marriage. The teacher wanted us to relate to the characters. She wanted us to write an essay about this topic and answer something along the lines of these questions:
(1) What did we do?
(2) Why did we do it?
(3) How did we feel about it before, during and after?
(4) How did our parents feel about it?
So I’m going to re-write this essay through the eyes of 30year old me, mostly because I can’t find the essay (it’s probably stuffed in a drawer at my parent’s house somewhere cause my mom loved the essay so much) but also it might be interesting to see what comes out of my head almost 14years later. So here are my answers below not really in proper essay format but I’m not in English class and nobody is grading me. The few people of the internet who will read this will just judge me and I don’t care (well I do a little but only if you judge in a good way…lol)
What did I do? The simple answer: I attempted to run away from home to my Nonna’s house. But here’s the background. The time of the running away I must’ve been 5 or 6 years old. So very young and impulsive. I don’t remember the initial offence, I want to say I was always a very bright child and probably had said something witty, smart-ass like comment that both annoyed and impressed my Mom but I probably did something less than smart like push my brother or boss him around — hey we learn and grow and I’m a smart-ass now so that’s gotta count for something right? Anyways, for whatever offence I had committed my Mom sent me to my room.
We all remember what it was like to be in trouble as a child we never focused on what it was we did wrong we just fantasized about something that would totally devastate our parents like in “A Christmas Story” where the boy fantasized about going blind from soap poisoning. On the surface it sounds twisted but what human being, especially a child, sits and reflects on what they did wrong? Who wants to sit in their room and feel bad about themselves? Mom and Dad were going to come in at any minute and do that for me — point out what I did, why it was wrong and make me apologize perhaps take away TV privileges for a week or something along those lines. My parents are great people and they were/are great parents. They used to sit with us whenever we were in trouble and talk to us about it, teach us about the consequences of our actions and to be responsible for what we did. When you’re a kid you sit and pretend that what they’re saying sounds like “Blah, blah blah” but it does go in, it sinks in and I think I’m a pretty decent contributing member of society because of it. However, when I first went into my room I immediately began planning how I would make my Mom suffer for the injustice of being sent to my room. Under normal circumstances I would hide amongst the dolls in the corner of my room and sit perfectly still. In my fantasy my Mom would walk in and start calling my name “Cara? Cara? Where are you?” I would be still, one with the dolls. My Mom would panic and cry head in hands “Oh dear god my daughter has disappeared! If only I didn’t send her to her room! We would never have this disaster on our hands now!” But every time my parents found me and my plan was foiled. They were good at figuring out the alive child from the plastic dolls must be some sort of super parent vision I didn’t have yet. So on this particular occasion for some reason hiding amongst the dolls didn’t seem good enough. Who could punish my Mom the way she had punished me? Who? A stroke of genius…my Mom’s mom or as I called her Nonna. Now I was never in trouble with Nonna. All I’d need is to see her, give her those big crocodile tears and she’d give me a cookie and scold my Mom for ever dreaming of doing what Mom’s are supposed to do. Genius, Cara you’re a freaking genius. Somehow I became a ninja out the bedroom door, down the stairs through the front door and down the street I went. Nonna wasn’t that far from my parents house. I cut through the park to get a head start. I was so close I could see it just one more corner to turn and her house would be there. But then I heard it on the other end of the street…that devastating sound.
We had one car as a family and it was a 1986 Full sized two tone brown (like two different kinds of poop really) chevy van. It made all kinds of sounds and you knew it was coming. When I heard the “roar” of the engine at the other end of the street I knew my fate was sealed. I was doomed and I was so close to freedom! In my memory smoke bellowed from the car (it may as well have) like a fiery demon from hell. The van pulled up next to me and the window on the passenger side almost rolled down all the way — it was just enough to see my Mother. I seem to remember this happening early in the morning too. I’m sure she didn’t have her morning coffee at this point cause she was terrifying. My Mom is a beautiful woman so I don’t want to insult her by any means but in my memory of her on that day she had horns and smoke was coming out of her nostrils, she possibly had claws for hands as she said nothing but beckoned me to get in the van.
I don’t remember what she said or what my eventual punishment was for this incident. The lesson had sunk in about how much she loved me and how worried and scared she was that I was gone. The horns did eventually shrink away, her claws turned back into hands she was no longer producing smoke from her nostrils and she hugged me. Even though I had fantasized about it I definitely didn’t want to make my parents worried or scared about losing me I loved them. That was the last time I attempted to run away to Nonna’s house (and I went back to trying to hide amongst the dolls. I still haven’t fooled them with that one.)
When we talk about this incident my Mom loves the original essay I wrote and loved that the teacher inserted comments like “Yay for Nonna”. Nonna’s are cool and so is my Mom for putting up with me and raising me to be a pretty awesome adult. I also can’t wait for the day when I have my own kid and s/he attempts to run away to Nonna’s house. I sadly don’t have a 1986 full size chevy van being held together by duct tape but to my child I’ll probably grow horns and claws and smoke will bellow out of my nostrils. I know I’ll handle it as well as my mom did too and the smoke will clear, the horns and claws will go away and I’ll be able to be a great mother cause I had two great parents of my own.
So to my Mom and Dad and all the Mom’s and Dad’s out there. I am sorry I worried you and made you scared. I love you and I want to thank you for being pretty awesome parents. And I’m not sorry for the idea of running away to Nonna’s, I mean you really have to admit the idea was genius if executed it would have been a masterpiece. I’m kidding I love you and thanks!