Literacy Narative

I am from “read me grandma!” and grandpa’s deep soothing voice
I am from memorized bedtime stories, poems, and Rindercella
I am from “it’s not crick its creeeeek grandpa!” and “that’s a great p-word!”
I am from “sound it out” and “how do you think it’s spelled?”
I am from tree identification and watching tadpoles grow
From “The Birch Island Gazette” and Molly & The Mice

I am from sweet sticky peach juice running down my chin, and cool wet washcloths on hands before turning pages
I am from icy air conditioning against humidity hot cheeks in a store that smells like paper and yarn
I am from summer reading programs, and hot cement pool decks
I am from post cards and pen pals
From snail mail and thank you notes

I am from daydreams and imagined worlds
From treasure hunts through bookstore basements
I am from long grey pigtail French braids and purple Pilot V-5 notes tucked between pages

I am from badass female protagonists and lady knights
I am from escaping my own life to see the world through someone else’s eyes
I am from Tortall and Terrasen
From Prythian and Ravenclaw tower
I am from heavy eyelids and refusing to look at the clock
I am from “just one more chapter” and “I only have a few pages left”

I am from the steam whistle, always interrupting, and the back of the lecture hall pretending to take notes
I am from notes shoved under doors and pinned to bulletin boards
From “comb E’s”
I am from sick days drawing on blackboards and transparency coloring pages
I am from Leo the Late Bloomer and notecard libraries
I am from practicing my hand writing and the hunt for the perfect pen
I am from advanced readers copies and “signed by the author” bookmarks

I am from embarrassing stories of my own childhood told to me by friends in school to become teachers
I am from framed dust jackets

I am from abysmal math scores and 99th percentile vocabulary
From “the nines trick” and quiet reading during “timed tests”
I am from “my child is not a test score” and vacations in when there was no “school break”
I am from “planner meetings” and assignment notebooks
From story problems and “explain your answers”
I am from “some high school” and “Doctoral or post-graduate degree”
I am from “failing to meet potential” and rejection letters

I am from words flowing in ink across pages just to lessen the pressure in my mind of the why’s and why me’s
I am from “I’m a fuck up” and “you’re such a stupid girl”
I am from dropping out…again
I am from quiet strength and thick walls
From trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and a life changing diagnosis
I am from proving them wrong
I am from “what did you do with my granddaughter?!”

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