Box of Follies

Spare a Kid Some Sugar, Please

My sister won’t give me her gobstoppers! My mouth waters for those vibrant balls of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple on the colorful candy box. I just want to swirl them around my tongue and taste the fruit on the roof of my mouth, but she won’t even share one with me. My sister is so mean and selfish! Why doesn’t she care about me? It feels like my throat has a gobstopper in it as my lips curl and eyes start to water. I turn to my legos and touch their cold, plastic exterior in despair. They kind of remind me of gobstoppers. Maybe they will taste good too? I pop a yellow lego brick into my mouth and can only try to imagine the taste of lemon.

I Know Best!

I’m always right. I know it because I said it, so it must be true. I set out to prove my infallibility by engaging in a logical debate with my sister. 

“I’m better than you,” she tells me. 

“Oh yeah? Well I’m the best!”

“No,” she replies, “that’s not how it works. You can’t be the best if I’m better than you.”

“Nuh-uh, everyone is worse than me because I’m the best.”

“No, I said that I’m better than you first, so I’m the best.”

My sister is definitely wrong. She’s clearly trying to use nonsense reasoning to win the argument. Knowing that this won’t go anywhere further, I walk away victorious as I remind her that I’m better.

Then there’s my mom. She thinks that it’s good for me, taking piano and guitar lessons. These are all such a big waste of time! What am I ever going to do with a piano and a guitar? Play for others? I hate that. I’ll never do it.

“Mom, I don’t want to take lessons any more. It’s useless. Besides, I can learn piano and guitar by myself at home.”

“Nope, I know you won’t play them on your own. And music is not useless, it makes you smarter.”

“What? Come on.”

“No, you don’t get to decide until you’ve done it for at least 5 years.”

Of course she doesn’t listen to me. There’s no way piano and guitar can make me smarter. I will be smarter if I have more time to do homework. No one ever listens to me even though I know myself and understand things best. I’m going to be so glad once I get to stop wasting my time with music.


It is my first time being an altar server. I don’t know how to do anything. I don’t know what size robe to wear. I don’t know how to tie this thread around the robe. I don’t know when or where to walk while holding what. So many people will be watching from the church pews. I can’t mess up or else I will embarrass myself and everyone will laugh or be disappointed. All of those judging eyes watching my every movement. I can’t mess up the ceremony or else everything will stop. What will the priest think of me? What will God think of me?

I carefully observe the older altar servers for cues and mimic their actions when needed. Bring a bottle out, or a towel, or a candlestick, or a book. Stand in front of Father with the book until he says “Amen.” Good. That’s about the only word from him that I can even understand. Then, standing on the side of the altar with the candlestick, I have no idea when to walk back. Eventually the person on the other side motions with their face that it’s time to go. Their eyes look urgent. Or annoyed. Embarrassed, I quickly move away and back to my seat. God, I hate this. I can’t say that out loud though. I’m just a stray moth frantically trying to follow the “right” path, the light. But if you feel lost, then it’s sometimes okay to just flutter through the darkness.


My iPad is so awesome. I can’t imagine life without it. I love to watch YouTube and play all kinds of games on it like Plants vs. Zombies 2, Bloons TD 5, and Clash Royale. All day, everyday. But my mom tells me I use it too much, and that I can’t use it for more than 3 hours a day. 3 hours? That’s nothing! Besides, I’m doing just fine right now. I get all of my homework done and turned in on time, and I still have time to practice piano and guitar everyday. What am I supposed to do with all of this extra time? Well, duh! That’s what the iPad’s for. Every other kid plays video games too. In fact, between the instruments I play and tennis lessons, I’m busier than them and even more deserving of free time!

“Go outside and get some sunlight,” my mom tells me. I get plenty of that already from playing tennis. “Don’t you ever want me to take you places?” she asks. No, I’m perfectly fine inside where I can use my iPad. Neighbors, parks, museums, libraries… Everything outside that window is boring. No interests or passions in anything else, all I care about is YouTube and gaming. Yup, no need to change anything. No need to add anything else to my life. Things are just fine the way they are.

Just Step Out

My mom leaves me home alone. The door is open. I can step out and walk away to a new home. I’ll have a different family and a different name. A different life to start over from. Or maybe I’ll just live on the streets. Whatever happens, it can’t be that bad, right? Yet something inside me wavers, preventing me from stepping out the door. Indecision, indecision… I start to head down the driveway but change my mind and return to the doorway. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to fully commit. Ah! Waves violently crash in my mind as I try to find the answer of what to do. Then, before I know it, my mom’s car pulls back into view. Darn, I took too long. The door is closed. It’s too late now.

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