A few months ago, I took a creative writing class at my school. Our first assignment was to write a memoir, which, despite my initial frustrations, was a pretty fun project. Out of all of the pieces I wrote during that class, my memoir is what I’m most proud of, and I think it is one of the better things I’ve written in a while.
I suppose you’re probably wondering, why am I talking so much about this memoir? Well, I wanted to use this week’s blog post to share it with you. Like I said, it’s something I really enjoyed writing, and it’s a piece that I’m rather proud of. So, if you read it and like it, let me know! I’d really love to hear your thoughts on it.
By Maggie S.
When I was younger, I didn’t like to sleep. While my baby brother slept peacefully, I would lie awake. It wasn’t that I was afraid of the dark – I just loved to think. When I heard the quiet hum of a car driving by our house, I’d wonder who they were and where they were going. When I heard my parents speaking on the floor below, I’d imagine what they might be talking about. I enjoyed creating stories in my head so much that it was impossible to sleep.
Sometimes, when I couldn’t sleep, I’d crawl out of bed and creep out of my room, avoiding the creaky floorboards. I was a master of espionage – at least, that’s what my five-year-old mind thought. Now that I’m older, I’m certain that my mom must have heard me sneaking around. If she had, however, she never said anything. Then again, that may be because 24 was keeping her on the edge of her seat.
After slipping past Mom undetected, I’d tiptoe down to the basement where my father was. Although the lights were dim, the glow of the TV illuminated the room. Some nights, Dad would be sitting on the old sofa watching baseball. I’d curl up on the couch next to him and ask, “Which team do we want to win?”
“The red team,” he’d always say, and I’d nod. From a young age, I had known that my father was a diehard Red Sox fan, and I understood that cheering for any other team would be a horrible crime.
Dad liked to keep score during the baseball games. He had an old brown clipboard that he kept his scoresheets on, and every so often I’d hear the quiet scritch-scratch of his pencil as he made a mark.
“What’s that mean?” I asked as he wrote the letter “K” in one of the small boxes.
“Strike,” he explained. “When the batter swings but he doesn’t hit the ball.”
I grinned. “Three strikes and you’re out!”
I didn’t understand the finer points of the sport, but I knew enough to make sense of what was going on. Now that I’m older, I’ve lost interest in baseball, but I still have fond memories of watching those games with my father. Even now when I happen to see a game, I’m reminded of those tranquil evenings we spent together.
Some nights, Dad would be working at his desk. I would tug on his sleeve and ask, “Can we watch the show on the computer?”
The “Show On The Computer,” as I called it, was a slide presentation that Dad had made for his college graduation. I must have watched it a hundred times over the years. To this day, I still don’t know why I liked it so much, considering I didn’t really comprehend what it was.
Perhaps it wasn’t the slideshow at all; maybe it was the time I was able to spend with my father. There was something comforting about sitting with my father in the basement, watching something he’d made himself. Even though he had already seen it dozens of times, he would still play it for me time and time again. I didn’t make much of a connection at the time, but now that I’m older I can look back and see how much those evenings really meant to me.
When it got late, Dad would kiss my forehead and say, “Time for bed, Chumbles.” It was his nickname for me. I would giggle and protest, but eventually we’d walk back upstairs and Dad would tuck me into bed.
“I love you,” he would whisper.
“Love you too, Daddy.”