In which…square peg…round hole

by Craig on September 13, 2011

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Sandwiched between my two darkest school years was a year of light.

In seventh grade my father put me in Catholic school…
and the boy who had never seen soccer played…
and didn’t realize that soccer was the lifeblood of being a Catholic in St. Louis…
picked up a soccer ball with his hands during a recess soccer game.

The rabid soccer-ites turned like hyenas. It didn’t end well.

Ninth grade we moved to a different state, and day one I walked in wearing my very perfectly brilliant disco outfit. Disco was apparently dead in Connecticut. A different set of hyenas attacked. It also didn’t end well.

Funny, in both instances it was the boys who put me in the pit of social pariah-dom. The girls then just followed suit. But the methods were different. The boys? You knew they were out to crush you. The girls had the same agenda, but none of the cards were ever revealed.

Either way…
square peg…
round hole…
rarely a happy thing.

And in between those two absolutely horrific years…
there was Camelot….
same kid…
different beginnings…
gloriously different results.

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I was social royalty…
took my social leadership very seriously…
But my little kingdom?
It clashed with a much more powerful kingdom…
8th grade science.

It was an “open” classroom. You had assignments to do, and the freedom to do them on your own timetable. Which meant you also had freedom to rule your little kingdom in peace – if you just pretended to go along.

My poor science teacher never understood how I outwardly agreed with his authority, but secretly undermined it.

He didn’t understand how important my Camelot was to me.

I remember him sitting me down one day, and opening up his journal. He let me read the portion where he outlined how he just didn’t get why I didn’t apply myself, why I would seem like I was on board, but rebel.

I remember that the passage ended with the word “damn”.

He didn’t know about a home life that was topsy-turvy, because to be honest I didn’t want anyone to know.

Whistle a happy tune and nobody notices the counter melody.

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But the poor guy…

he just wanted to work together…

his burden wasn’t so oppressive….

he didn’t get my why I was so much trouble…

he didn’t understand the importance of my kingdom.

And how am I ever going to tie this in with this series on the fullness of time…

the one perfect moment in the history of the world for the Savior to arrive?

Not to worry…

I haz a plan…

tomorrow…

please come back.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

A. September 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

Craig, having had my own challenges in life, I cannot imagine the pain of your social years in childhood and adolescence. Well, I try to and it hurts. Because school years can be so cruel, at a time when kids are still learning their way around in life. I will be back, whether it ties in with fullness of time or not. You are on to something here that is important.

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

Now for you A. It was a strange set of years A. 10 schools in 12 years – him and the worst of it was going alternately between being most popular – and most unpopular – somehow I think that’s a fairly unique experience. Thank you A. God bless you.

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Martha Orlando September 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Don’t worry, I’ll most definitely be back. You have certainly peaked my curiosity . . . :)

Blessings!

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

Now for your promise to be back Martha – and since I’m writing this after you came back – thank you for that too! and blessings to you too my friend.

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Cora September 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm

You KNOW I’ll be back, for sure! I think I walked the same path, with the same teacher!!!! It was kick ball for me. New school, new kids, new games, new teams. And I blew it on the first try. My stellar performance with double dutch jump rope and hop scotch didn’t matter —- I caused our team to lose the kick ball game, and I was OUT for the year. 4th grade! Everything went south that year. I was amazed when my brother found my report card for that year and it had all failing grades. No one questioned that????? No one even once thought something might be wrong at home?????? There was. But like you, I wouldn’t have told. I was passed on to 5th grade, and I remember nothing at all of that year — except that my teacher’s wig blew off on the playground one windy day.

Craig, the gold fish picture made my day. I sat here and laughed out loud, and I am NOT a laughing person. I might smile a little, but not a good laugh! This one just got to me as I’m that goldfish, for sure. Thank you for that!!!!

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

Now about missing the ball at kickball – I sooooooo get that – it’s all rubbery – and bouncy – and nobody throws it nice – how does anybody ever kick it. I’m sorry for that fourth grade girl – that had to be a horrible year. And bubbles in still water are always a laugher!! as long as you’re not in the water. :) God bless you Cora

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Debbie September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Thank you, Craig, for taking us along on your journey of the fullness of time. And for how we get there. God bless you as He uses every moment all these years later, to help us through you!

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

Now about what you wrote – I think I’m all done with the “personal” fullness of time thing – from here on in it’s about the official fullness of time. And I guess – everything that has gone on before – all combined – has brought me to this point – and I think God is happier with me at this point – then maybe ever. And you are a part of that Debbie – have been from the beginning – thank you. And God bless you!

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Layla Payton September 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Okay, the goldfish picture…HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

As for the rest of it… I just wanted to go back in time, find little boy Craig, and hug him.

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

Now for you’re laughing at the poor goldfish – poor little gold guy. As I said to Cora in another comment – bubbles in still water are always a laugher – so long as you’re not in the water!ツ I almost went with the heavier picture – I thought later was the better way to go. And that little boy – he needed hugs – and my mom loved as good if she could have. But she couldn’t stop the damage – no matter how much love one parent gives – if the other is abusive – the world centers around the abusive one. He was a brave little kid – that boy – damaged – but brave. God bless you Layla – and I notice a new avi – all perfect – all of them – but you can’t make up your mind huh? ツ

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Debra September 14, 2011 at 12:58 am

Oh Craig, I’d have loved the disco outfit! I‘d have asked to dance with me :-)

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

Now for your offer to dance – should we ever be in the same disco – I promise to say yes.
ツ it’s funny how the very same outfits Junior and Senior year of high school – were accepted – even liked – and yet – in Connecticut – they were mocked.

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Martha Orlando September 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I pray you get some much needed rest, my friend! May God give you peaceful and dreamless sleep to renew and strengthen you. In the meantime, know how much your response, in spite of your lack of sleep, touches me, touches us all. I am a complete bear when I don’t get rest and truly admire you for functioning at all; you are made of much tougher stuff than I am, that’s for sure!

May God bless and keep you, may His peace be with you, may He give you rest!
Martha

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Craig September 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I’m sorry, Martha for being so late in replying. But two weeks ago there was a week without near zero sleep. And this last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara. And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry, because I heart your comments, and so today, finally, through the sad, powered by hope, and faith, and love, here’s my reply… I heart that you have been so patient with me…

… and I’ve said it before – the lack of sleep – it’s just my thorn – and now with Sara, I’m reminded that it’s only a thorn – nothing more. I learned long ago – about the seventh year into this sleep thing – that the way it alters mood – it’s just chemicals in the brain – grumpy, angry, stomping “me” understands that it’s just chemicals – and I just choose the other path. Chemicals in the brain can be quite the deceiver. Thank you as always Martha, and God bless you!

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