Thursday, May 17, 2012


You might know that I tutor a first-grader named Collin every day at 4 o'clock. Sometimes I hate the kid, but a lot of the time he's pretty cool, and I love, love, LOVE watching him improve in reading. He's such a real little person. It's great.

I've been gone a lot recently, what with Italy and the senior beach trip, and I totally missed the little guy. The week between Italy and the beach was a ton of fun with him, because he'd missed me too. He was extra good and fun and gave me pictures of my favorite animal {white tiger}. I was happy when I drove to his house on Monday at 3:55.

His mom answered the door, I complimented her new haircut, and she said,

"Thanks! Collin actually doesn't have homework."

"Oh," I said, surprised. "Well, cool." I'll just go home and continue to unpack my bloated suitcase.

"He made his reading goal," Mrs. Deanna continued. "and they don't have homework for the rest of the year."

"Oh." My mind stopped and focused on the moment. "Wait. Oh. Oh, he doesn't have any homework...ever...?"

Mrs. Deanna nodded, smiling. "Yep, he's good. He still has to read three times a week to keep up the skill level, but no more homework."

"Well, that's awesome!" I said, smiling. "How cool. You must be glad."

She nodded. "The peace around the house has been great."

"Awesome," I repeated. "So, you want me to come three times a week?"

"Nope," Mrs. Deanna shook her head. "No, we've got it. He's doing great with us now."

"Oh. That's great!" I shifted my weight. "I'll just see you guys on Sundays then."

"Sounds good. Thanks so much, Stephanie!"

"No problem..."

She called the dog back inside and shut the door as I got into the Kia, turned my music back on, and maneuvered down their driveway.

Today hasn't been that great for me emotionally. I haven't been crying or anything, and nothing awful has happened, but I've been scared out of my mind and finding it difficult to breathe.

I'm about to leave my entire life behind me, whether physically if I get into Wake Forest, or symbolically if I end up getting a job and ceasing to be a child.

I cleaned my room today and almost flipped out. Just seeing normal things puts me on the edge of an emotional abyss of...void. I'm trying to hold on to things that are constant, like my family and...I mean, and God...and...well, I've been having trouble coming up with things that are solid.

It never occurred to me that I'd be losing my tutoring before school was out. I knew the end was near, but I didn't think I'd run right into it. I didn't realize I was about to hit a cement wall of k-thanks-bye.

Mrs. Deanna was very nice about it, and it wasn't as if I were getting FIRED or something. Losing that job is difficult and sad because I owe my parents $100 a month for being a dumbass and getting in a car wreck, and tutoring was my only source of income.

But the money isn't what hit me the hardest. It was driving down their driveway for the last time. It was saying "bye" to their poodle for the last time. It was knowing I'd never have to be home by 3:55pm again. It was knowing I'd never hear Collin say, "Ooh, that was ninja E" or "NO PEEKING" or "Is that gonna be your new favorite book?" again.

I'm gonna miss Collin the Demon Seed. I'm gonna miss pretty much everything about it, I realize now. The challenge of making him get things correctly, the joy of watching him understand, the fun of having lightsaber duels when we finished early, even the tantrums and days when it takes him an hour and a half to spell six words.

I'm gonna miss him, but the worst part was the abruptness. I had no idea his homework didn't continue up til the last day of school. Yesterday I had a steady income and a kid's education in my hands. Today all I have is an empty wallet and a hole in my chest.

One of the last few things I could count on has been yanked out from under me. I don't like this whole "growing up" thing.


1 comment:

  1. You are a fantastic writer and this is a great post. I love it.