Monday, July 30, 2012

2. Crazy About Dogs

SIXTH GRADE was coming up, and my parents decided to send my 2 older siblings to Catholic school. I cried and begged to go as well, and they relented. The phrase 'be careful what you wish for' comes to mind.

I ARRIVED at my new school equipped with a solid understanding of what learning was all about: questions, curiosity, exploring and laughter. I was shocked when I learned I had been led astray and, for the next 3 years, I struggled against being stuffed into a box way too small. Everything was upside down.

I WAS TOLD to repent and ask forgiveness for my bad thoughts and actions. What bad thoughts and actions? All I wanted to do was hold puppies, read stories about them, and draw them.

I WAS CRAZY about dogs, something I've never outgrown. By 10, I had owned 2 of my own and been to my 1st dog show. But the nuns were worried. If my love were for horses, that would be normal for a girl my age, but because my obsession was for 4-legged animals of the canine variety, it was cause for concern. They considered it unhealthy and advised my parents to seek help for me, which they ignored.

A FEW YEARS ago, I painted this picture. I included it in shows with every intention of selling it. One day I looked at all the books and realized they were the best part of those school days, and so I decided not to sell it. It's hanging in my bedroom.