Skill U: 3.7

Journal of H. W. | honey.walker@skillu.edu

Week Three, Day Seven – Sophomore Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.

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Sometimes, it can feel good to step out on your own.

That’s what I was thinking after I left the cottage on Mom and Dad’s last day here. We’d had a Christmas party at the Villareals. Mom and Dad came, but I hardly even saw them since I was busy cooking and entertaining the guests and making sure the kids were happy.

So we arranged that I’d spend the next day with them at the cottage.

“I’ll make lunch!” I said when I arrived. “I’ll make your famous BLTs, ok, Mom?”

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When I called everyone in for lunch, Darin walked into the kitchen.

“Oh, I invited your friend,” said Dad.

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I’d been expecting that we’d have an old-fashioned family meal at the kitchen table, but Mom took her sandwich into the living room.

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“It’s so much more festive in here!” she said.

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“It’s your last day to spend with your parents,” Darin said. “I’ll just take my meal out back. Give you guys some family time.”

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I tried to think back to the last meal we shared together, just the three of us. It had been before I left for college.

“Ew! What kind of mayonnaise did you use?” Mom asked.

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“It’s not mayo,” I replied. “It’s organic olive oil.”

“Heart healthy,” Dad said. “It’s got that omega stuff, right?”

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“And is this whole-grain bread?” Mom asked.

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“It’s made from sprouted grains and lentils!” I replied.

“Also healthy, right, Honey?” Dad said.

Mom chuckled. “I bet it’s that veggie bacon, too. You’ve become a regular hippie Betty Crocker!”

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“I think healthy is delicious,” I answered.

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Mom cleared the dishes, giving Dad and me a few moments alone together.

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“I loved your sandwiches, Honey,” Dad said. “That was real good food.”

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“I’m proud of you,” he continued. “You took your mom’s recipe and you put your own spin on it. That’s you.”

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Mom joined us.

“I was just telling Honey how proud we are of her!”Dad said. “Why, next time we make it to Windenburg, I bet it will be to hear you play your premier!”

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“Think you’ll remember your old mom and dad when you’re a famous violinist?” Mom asked.

“Mom, it’s just a profession!” I said. “Like any profession! Do doctors and lawyers forget their parents?”

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I headed into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee, and when I got back, Mom had slid into my place on the couch beside Dad.

“So I thought we’d give the Johnsons a nice potted plant to thank them for taking care of Princess,” she was saying.

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“Well, I think I’ll head outside for a bit,” Dad said. “Let you two catch up on your girl talk.”

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“I’d better go pack,” Mom said.

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I sat alone and drank my coffee.

A while later, Mom and Dad wandered back in, and we opened the presents. Dad gave me Coda bow for my violin. I’d always wanted one–they’re responsive, elegant, and indestructible.

I went to look for Darin, but Dad said he’d taken off shortly after lunch.

Mom was upstairs playing blic-block. I’d been wanting to get her advice on how I could help out better with Max.

“So, right now, he’s getting a D in school,” I told her.

“Don’t worry about school,” she said. “He doesn’t have a mom, does he? No wonder he’s not doing well with school.”

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“Take care of the important stuff first,” she said. “Make sure he feels loved, and then everything else will fall into place.”

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“I’m not really in a position to fill his mom’s place,” I said. “I mean, I’m just the au pair. I’m not even sure how long I’ll be here!”

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“You can do a lot in a short period of time,” Mom said. “And once he starts to show improvements, don’t forget to celebrate. Remember all the celebrations we had for you?”

“Sure!” I said. “You used to celebrate every time my grades improved!”

“Remember the time we made a gingerbread house to celebrate your perfect spelling test?”

“That was so fun!”

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Before I left, Mom wanted a photo of us. “So I can show all my friends,” she said.

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“I’ll miss you, Honey,” Mom said. “And Princess will, too!”

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Dad was alone when I found him to say goodbye. I just wanted to stay forever in his hug.

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“Take care, baby,” he said. His voice was husky. Dad’s got this way of making me feel amazing, just by looking at me. It was hard to say goodbye.

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But as I was walking across the lawn to catch the tram back to the Villareals’, I felt a new kind of feeling.

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I felt strong, and confident, and free. I felt indestructible, like this was my world, and I had a place in it.

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