Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

12/1/11

So Many Secrets



I was born so blond you couldn't see my eyebrows or eyelashes. Soon my hair grew brown but for a highlight in front of my head that stayed blond. I didn't like it because people asked me why did my mother dye my hair. Worse yet, on the first Friday of the month the nuns, who were my teachers at Academia Santa Maria, made those students whose uniforms didn't fit the code stand in front of the whole school. It didn't fail. No matter how much my mother said that my highlight was natural, the nuns insisted that it wasn't. Now imagine that for a girl who was timid.




People think I am bubbly and energetic. Little do they know that those same teachers wrote home saying that I was too timid. Timid, believe it or not, I was. On top of that, my classmates had been speaking English since kindergarten. I was just learning. And did they laugh! There are certain words I still cannot say, like sheep. It comes out as "ship." Now take that last word and end it with a "t". I always say linen, never "sheet."

7 comments:

Edie Hemingway said...

Carmen,
I'm wondering how long you kept that blond highlight in the front of you hair? And I think your English is just fine! :>)

Lauren said...

Somehow there is a story in that one blond streak that none of the nuns thought was real. How sad that must have been for you! A lot of self-doubt for a timid little girl. I have met you more recently and you seem to have grown into a warm, energetic, interesting, and wonderful woman! So interesting to learn this about you!

Christy said...

In high school I lived with a Oaxacan family one summer on an exchange program. My host brother was nicknamed G├╝ero, a Mexican slang word for someone light-haired. Is there a similar word in Puerto Rico?

I agree with Lauren that there is a story there.

Love that you say "linens"!

Diane Adams said...

Carmen, you need to go back and visit those nuns with your books and awards in your hands. :)

David LaRochelle said...

I second what Diane said about going back to that school (if it still exists) and showing the students (and nuns) what this timid kindergartener accomplished. Those students would love to hear your blond highlight story, just like we did!

Stephanie said...

I cannot imagine you ever being timid, I think you are fearless. And I could listen to you talk for hours:)

Mark said...

Good for you for ignoring those early embarrassments and pursuing your dreams, Carmen!!