6's & 7'S
and all things crazy
In anticipation of the upcoming release of my novel, Call Me Daddy, I asked for stories about family: the fun, the inspirational, the heartwarming moments that make us part of a family. Author Katie Jordan brings it Full Circle:
By the age of four, I was already a child of the world. My parents worked for an organization called Youth for Christ as house parents in a group home for abused and neglected teenaged boys. Because of their work, I was well informed of the ins and outs of social services. I was definitely what you would call precocious--opinionated, intelligent, and world-wise beyond my years. I was also a typical child who could throw a temper tantrum with the best of them when I didn't get what I wanted. My mom loves to tell the story of a trip to the grocery store where I put my knowledge of social services to good use. She doesn't remember what spurred the incident, just that I had wanted something and she had said "no." Upon hearing the word, I took matters into my own hands, enlisting the aid of a nearby patron.
"Hey, you! Fat lady!" I yelled. “Call social services. I'm being abused." And then I gave her the phone number.
My mom picked me up under her arm, kicking and screaming, left our cart—filled with groceries—and walked out of the store. I'm pretty sure that earned me a really good spanking.
I've heard this story countless times over the course of my life. It was definitely one of my mom's favorites. She always accompanied it with a promise that one day one of my children would do the same to me.
Thirty years after my shining moment, my mother's prophecy came true. On that particular day, I had rounded up my kids (ages 2-7) and went to the local Kroger. I was almost halfway through the store when my two-year-old Mark decided he'd had enough of being belted in to the child seat in the cart. He was standing up and climbing over the handle, laying sideways with his feet hanging over the edge--whining and fussing with each change in position. Every time I put him back in the cart, he got louder and I became more frustrated. I finally picked him up and set him on his feet bedside the cart, hoping and praying that he would stay put.
He immediately took off down the aisle with a grin and a full belly laugh. I called to him, but he did not stop. My oldest son Daniel, trying to be helpful, took off after Mark. A game of tag ensued with the two of the running from one end of the long aisle to the other. Not to be left out, my four-year-old Brodie joined them. I could not catch any of them. I scolded my oldest saying, "The more you run after him, the more he thinks it's a game, Daniel. Let me handle it."
Daniel, of course, ignored me and chased Mark into the next aisle where I heard my lovely, innocent seven-year-old shout, "Mom, he's being a bastard!"
Defeated, I hung my head. I wanted to cry, but I held it together. Grabbing Brodie by the hand, I left the cart in the middle of the aisle and gathered the other two kids. Mark, dangling securely in my arms, I walked out to the car and drove home. I had officially come full circle just as my mother had predicted. She had a good laugh at my expense while I bitched my way through the tale.
Has my foul mouth caused irrevocable damage to my children? Not even a little, though I should have learned to keep it in check just a teeny bit. On a scale of normal to fucked, my kids and I fall closer to normal. They won’t need therapy, and God knows I never have. I just write about it.
An obsessive-compulsive bookworm, Katie reads her way through several hundred volumes every year. In 2014 she earned an MFA in Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. An excerpt from her master’s thesis “The Stonemason” was chosen as a finalist in the 2013 SNHU graduate writing contest. Her day job as a lab instructor at an alternative education school and her latest course of study to earn a MEd and secondary teacher certification seriously cuts into her reading and writing time which she splits in the evenings while caring for her husband and three sons.
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