Smilie faces and exclamation points

Isobel - Hudson, Ohio
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in smiley faces and exclamation points. In typing ‘OMG, I’m so happy for you!!’ while crying your eyes out until your computer screen goes blurry. Before my family came to the United States, we lived in England. We moved quickly over the summer so that we would have enough time to settle into the ‘new land’ and get caught up with all the summer work. My brother and I had spent the first half of the summer with my dad in France, and had no idea what we would be getting back to, so I had decided to forget about it. By the end of the trip, I had almost forgotten we were moving. The day we came back to our old house, it finally came back to me what I was about to do. It is one thing to move to another school, but it is a totally different thing to move to another country. I walked down the stairs to the kitchen, trying hard to remember everything the way it was, hoping that nothing had changed, but that was not the case. Our wonderful kitchen, which I had circled hundreds of times when trying to learn the times tables, with the giant red blob on the ceiling where one of us had thrown spaghetti when we were young, and the long wooden table which I had sat at every dinner for my entire life, was empty. The rugs were rolled up, the cutlery and plates were put away, and the cupboard where all my old ‘artwork’ had sat had been swept of the telephone and notepaper. The only objects left were two rolls of bubble wrap, sitting alone on the floor. It felt like I had swallowed Lego bricks, which were getting stuck in my throat in an effort to come back up again. I looked around and realized that I would never be coming back. That all the memories I had had in that room would be just that, memories. I would have to start all over again. There were only two things to do, cry my eyes out and be depressed for the rest of my life, or make the most of the time I had left and take the opportunity I had to meet new people, see new things, and be a totally different person. I had made up my mind. I walked over to the bubble wrap, tied the two huge rolls together with a piece of twine, and began to roll around the kitchen. There wasn’t much else I could do, and if it was a choice between making everyone else feel that bit better about it and bringing everyone’s spirits down, then I would have much preferred it to be the former, because maybe that would make me happy too. I think that I will always be the type of person who types way to many exclamation points after each sentence or who has memorized every happy smiley face on the computer, but I like to think that that one smiley face will make someone’s day, so even if I have Lego blocks down my wind pipe, they will be floating on cloud nine.