Your Smile On Fire

...from the song Xavia

her middle years

Following up on years zero through six, here are years seven through twelve in the life of The Jordyn.


Year Seven.


We (which in this case refers to my family: me, Taylor the Lovely, and our mom and dad) move to Texas. I am waving goodbye to Granma as l possibly can see her. I am crying. I am not happy about leaving. Texas surprises me; it is not the mountain landscape I am accustomed to, but instead is flat. Everywhere you look: flat. There is no snow and we have tornado drills at school and it is HOT.


I remember a best friend named Afrin, a girl named Nishi who everyday told me that Jordyn was a boy’s name, and a second grade teacher I will never forget. I remember afterschool daycare, a tornado warning, and that creepy old Criter house that my dad was always teasing us about venturing into. (You guys, this place was really creepy, and I’m not just saying that because I was seven at the time; it really was.) I also remember letters from Lu and Janet and Granma, the picture Lu sent me of Bradley and Madley (so little at the time), and Granny asking me over the phone if I had a boyfriend yet (which I found very very odd considering I was in second grade).


Year Eight.


We are not in Texas for long; when I am eight we move back home. We arrive in time for Clint’s high school graduation. When his name is called everyone cheers, louder than is cheered for anyone else, and Little Jordyn feels special because she is his cousin NIECE, I’m his niece, not sure why I keep thinking cousin.


Year Nine.


It is third grade and a variety of things happen. Mason (Clint’s son, my cousin) is born. I am in the ELP (Extended Learning Program) class with Olivia and Keegan. Olivia is in love with Keegan this year and Keegan keeps m&ms in his pockets (Olivia is no longer in love with him, but he might still keep m&ms in his pockets… that’s the way to become valedictorian, folks!) (Yes, Keegs was one of the valedictorians. Do you capitalize valedictorian?)


Also our ELP class gets fishies and me and Olivia, (if I remember correctly) much to the chagrin of Katie, get to choose names for two of them. We have one named Bubbles and one, I think, named Star. I don’t remember who named which one.


Year Ten.


This is the age I, for a long time, wanted to stay forever. It was the year Quinn (yet another cousin - Janet’s first baby) is born and the year I am in fourth grade.


Something odd that happened in fourth grade was that I had a crush on a boy (notthe odd part, although he was the first boy I like liked, lol) and the ENTIRE CLASS FOUND OUT. I don’t know how this happened and I don’t know how I was so oblivious to it. Well, wait. Oblivious isn’t the right word; I knew, I just didn’t care too much. I guess I was hard to embarrass back in fourth grade, which is impossible to believe now. I must have just been so busy making up the alien language and pretending my grandpa’s broken down lawn mower was a spaceship.


Man, I was a weird ten year old. (No, this hasn’t diminished, although I no longer pretend to time travel or be an alien. Or a spacegirl who DISCOVERS ALIENS.)


Year Eleven.


Eleven eleven eleven. What can I say about year eleven except that when Taylor the Lovely read my journal from this time she made a mention of how many mean girls there were in my fifth grade class. Which, you know, is an entirely true statement. I did not like being eleven. I probably hated it more than any other year, which is saying a lot when you consider…


Year Twelve.


I know that before this I had stuff that happened. Heart surgeries and kindergarten tachycardia and the like, but year twelve is probably 83% (if not more) of the reason I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE ASSUME THAT JUST BECAUSE I AM YOUNG I AM HEALTHY AND HAVEN’T GONE THROUGH ANYTHING.


Come on people. Wise up. Sick people are everywhere.


There were two surgeries this year, tons of x-rays, too many night spent in hospital beds, and fifty thousand episodes of The Cosby Show. First there was the Fontan procedure, which is an open heart surgery that basically involves a surgeon rerouting the plumbing in your heart. The second was getting a Herrington (sp?) rod put in my back, which isn’t exactly pleasant. We travelled FAR FAR AWAY for these surgeries because apparently not every surgeon thinks bloodless heart surgery/back surgery is necessarily the smartest thing to do.


The surgeries went well and what I remember of them isn’t so much the actual medical stuff, but watching nonstop episodes of The Cosby Show because it always seemed to be on, some doctor putting me on a weird diet for some rediculous reason that I think had to do with sodium and which they quickly took me off of because at twelve I was NOT someone who needed to lose weight, having a nurse who always said “pee pee” like I was a two year old, getting a teddy bear from my dad’s company or from people at my dad’s company or something like that, going back to school between surgeries and having everyone in my class give me get well cards and banners, my sister pretending (and really believing?) she could speak spanish, the family around me, and wanting a Milky Way bar, as well as a Nachos lunchable so badly when I was on my “diet.” (What can I say friendlies - when all you’re doing is watching tv, COMMERCIALS WORK!)


Once again, I DON’T DIE. But I do start junior high in a BACK BRACE, which is probably on my Top Twenty List of Horrors, and I’m really (really really really) not the sort of person to be vain like that.


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Oct. 15 [going to work soon] [two school essays due; majorly nervous about both] [remember when i wrote that short story where the girl said "majorly" every other WORD practically? ha]