Blemishes. Going to school with one was like wearing my own blinking light that announced a dork was coming up the hallway. I couldn’t cope with that. So, I’d miss the bus in hopes my mom would be too busy to drive me to school.
Flames the length of dragon breath seemed to emit from my mother’s hair whenever she found me in my room. My guilty, grinning face did little to extinguish her. The tense, resentful ride to school that followed did little to convince me to give up either. So I would miss the bus again the next day, especially if the zit in particular had gotten bigger.
Sometimes they not only got bigger, they took over. One night I went to sleep having taped a band aide soaked with Stridex to my chin. I had expected to witness a miracle upon the unveiling of it. Instead, when I woke up, there was a gigantic, bright red square glaring right back at me. It was almost as bad as the time I fell asleep wearing a mud mask on my nose. Naturally, I didn’t catch the bus on either of these days.
Needless to say my tardiness started to accrue something fierce. My report card had my mother shaking her head in frustration and my father was not amused. In fact, they were beside themselves trying to think of a solution when finally a grand idea crossed my father’s mind.
“We’ll have her drive her own bus to school!” he exclaimed in grand admiration of his own genius, “If she is afraid of large, horrible-looking things embarrassing her, well, this ought to shock her out of the water!”
You see, my parents had just inherited my grandmother’s RV and they weren’t quite sure what they were going to do with it. Well, now they knew. Next time I missed the bus, I would be driving my own bus to school.
I should not have tested their resolve. The RV was the antithesis of cool. Not only did it have a giant, red road runner painted on the back, but something that looked like a massive iceberg was perched on its top-as if it could double as a frightning ice cream truck. It had its own fridge, bathroom, stove, dinner table, sink, bunks, the works. Needless to say, pulling out after school in front of the entire student body put some things into very clear perspective for me. Having to drive a recreational vehicle, my very own bus, to school was much more embarrassing than any facial blemish ever was. In fact, I don’t think I ever noticed having one again.
Today I thank heaven for parents who had the creativity to help transform my mountains back into mole hills and the worst of my fears into funny memories.
QUESTION: What parenting tips did you learn from your parents?
CHALLENGE: Try out something positive that you learned from your parents as you approach a parenting moment.