Friday, September 16, 2005

Misunderstood Youth

I have some bad childhood memories of the Terry Fox run. I remember reading a ValueTale book about him when I was about eight or nine and it really inspired me. I decided that in order to really do the Terry Fox run right, you should try and do it like Terry Fox. Only then could you really understand how difficult it must have been to get up and run every day like he did. So I started practicing the "hop-hop-step". I practiced in the backyard and in my room until I had it perfected. Then I went to the school wide Terry Fox run. I had gone door to door and raised my money and I was so excited to show everyone how good I was. The day of the run was cold and wet and grey. I wore my little pink sweatpants and matching sweatshirt as we lined up on the soccer field. The whistle blew and I started (probably beaming)...hop hop step, hop hop step.

After my first lap I was pulled to the side by a teacher and warned to stop "mocking" Terry Fox. I didn't even know what mocking meant. I kept going, sure that Terry would have been proud. By the end of the second lap, the school principal was waiting for me at the last bend. She grabbed my arm and pulled me off the course. I remember how big she was and how angry she looked and I was thoroughly confused. "Terry Fox was a Canadian hero...not a joke. You are to go sit down on those bleachers and think about what you have done."

I sat on those bleachers in the rain and cried. I watched all the kids doing their normal kid runs around the field and felt completely alone. How could anyone be mad at me? I had tried to show my solidarity with Terry and worked so hard to raise money. I remember thinking that if only Terry were here, he would save me. He would have said all the things I couldn't to the principal and he would have seen what I was trying to do.

This year I am running in the Terry Fox run again. And I hope by some chance I see my old school I can kick her in the teeth.


Jessica Wainman said...

Caroline, that is so sad and hillarious at the same time. Man, my heart cries out for the childhood you :) Love, Jess

Chris O said...

Sure, this is one instance of the school being in the wrong for accusing you of mocking people, but what about the time in high school when, in a complete abuse of the infinite power student council is given, you tried to start a "Let's mock Canadian icons day"? I'll never be able to forget the image of you walking around the school all day with one arm in your sleeve, making fun of the one-armed drummer from Def Leppard, only to learn that he isn't Canadian at all. Who was mocked that day, CK? Who?!

Eileen said...

Oh my god!! I had to ask Ian who Terry Fox was ( what with me not being in the Canadian "know"). Almost had to change me underwear as I was laughing do much. But I do think Chris O (above) has topped your terry fox tale. What were you thinking you asylum wannabe!

terri said...

Hee. Poor misunderstood childhood Caroline.

I do remember a couple of kids doing an intentionally-mocking hop hop step during our Terry Fox runs, and getting duly called out for it. You suffered for their insolence.