I just had my 11th birthday which was a huge party where mom and Dad invited my grandparents and all my friends from school. Everyone had fun and I had so many presents. I don’t think I ever smiled so much as I was with the people that I loved and care for so much.
A few days later, I was playing football with my friends. Some of you would call this game soccer. I call it football. It is a game that I love as it means that I am with my friends. I like the competing aspect and trying to be the best player. Despite me trying to be the best, I was far from the best. This did not matter, as I was just happy kicking the ball around. Today I was in the goals which gave me a lot of responsibility. I can say with pride that I only let one ball escape me. My team ended up winning which was a good feeling.
After we played soccer, we sat down and rested. One of the boys was complaining saying that he had so many chores. He joked that he was sure that he had the wrong parents. His real parents were some rich snobs and he was missing the life of luxury and no chores. I laughed at the thought but at the same time, I did not agree with him. I was proud of my family. I was the only child, but I could wish for no better mom or dad. I was having a great childhood, where I was happy and felt loved and secure.
When I went home, Mom was cooking lasagne. I love lasagne and could eat it hot or cold! I asked her if I could help and she smiled and said I can cut the onions. This was not my favourite part of cooking, as tears came to my eyes when I cut them. Mom would always joke and say was it so bad that I was helping her as she would tease me that I was crying. This would make me laugh and tell her that it was slave work. Then I told her about the football game. I may have exaggerated how well I played, but mom listened to every word.
At dinner time, Dad praised our cooking and said we should be on Master Chef on TV. Then mom would joke and say suddenly I had superpowers, as I have done some astonishing things at football.
After I have done my homework, Mom came to my room and asked did a bomb explode in it. I tried explaining that although it looked messy, I knew where everything was. Mom sighed and said that I was like dad and then told me it was time to get ready for bed. I found my Bart Simpson pyjamas under a bunch of other clothes. Dad came in to say good night and told me he also had to rest, as it was a long day at work the next day.
Mom came in and asked was I too old to get a bedtime story. I didn’t care if I was 90, I loved bedtime stories. Mom read “Little House on the prairie”. They sure had a tough life back in those days. I was happy to live in the modern days where we had running water and indoor toilets. When mom closed the book, she admitted that it was also one of her favourite books when she was a girl. She still liked reading historic books as she thought that these people made the world that we now lived in.
This made me think, what would people say about me in 100 years.
Mom told me not to sleep yet, as we should say prayers. So we both went on our knees and thanked God for all His blessings and the good life we have. Then I prayed that God would bless my grandparents, my friends and forgive the teachers for giving too much homework! Mom smiled and said that she was sure that God has humour. I looked back at her and said that I was serious!
School went well the next day however I could not understand why history was so boring. The best part was when we had recess at lunch. We played football so we were tired and sweaty when classes started again. It was a shame that the sun was shining outside as this made classes seem longer.
The school was finally over. My best friend asked me if I wanted to come to his house. I told him that I should go home. I didn’t tell mom that I would be hanging with friends after.
When I came home, I thought it was strange that Dad was home. He said that he was working late today, then why was he home? There was also a woman there strangely looking at me. I did the polite thing and greeted everyone. The woman acted strangely and shouted that she needed to hug me. I was confused and afraid and looked at mom and dad, hoping they would tell me what was going on. Mom did not look happy and told me to go to my room.
I went to my room thinking that this woman was coming to complain about something I did. I sat on my bed and wondered what it could be. I am no saint, and I can usually remember if I have done something wrong. I felt left out being told to go to my room. If the adults were having a trial about me, I should be able to defend myself. I should have the opportunity of being heard. I could not even hear what they were talking about. I just heard that the discussion was getting very serious, as they were shouting. Even when they shouted at each other, I could only hear a word here and there. I had no clue as to what they were saying. I comforted myself that I would soon find out.
I was called down to dinner time which was also a weird situation. We all were silent and no one said a word. We usually talked a lot when we ate dinner and now. The silence was killing me, so I just asked if I was in trouble? Did I do anything wrong? Dad answered by saying no and there was silence again. Then mom started crying. This was also a shock as mom never cried. I did not know what to do. I could see that Dad was the same. I asked mom what was the matter, and she left the table apologising for breaking down.
I went back to my room thinking of what happened. I knew that I was in trouble. I guessed that the woman that visited us was the cause. She must have told my parents something that could make mom so sad. This made me think of what I could do to help. I did not like seeing my mother cry and be so sad, but I did not know what to do to help. I figured the best thing I could do is be quiet and do everything she wanted me to.
Mom came into my room and we both sat on the bed. Then Mom started hugging me so hard that it was hard for me to breathe. I could see that her eyes were red from crying. She told me that she was so happy that I was her son. She loved me so much and she was proud of me. I was the best thing in her life. She wanted me to remember this and remember how much I was wanted in the family.
This was strange and to be honest, I felt uneasy about it. I tried to joke when I asked my mom would she still love me as much when I refused to get a haircut. Mom hugged me tighter and started crying.
Cutting my hair was something that we always argued about. It was slightly curly and was long. It was not as long as girls hair, but I could put a ponytail in it. Mom always wanted me to cut it because some people thought that I looked like a girl. Now it seemed that she even loved my long hair.
I could not sleep that night as the day was so strange. I did not like to see mom so sad and hoped that a nights sleep would help her come back to her normal happy self. I prayed to God for this and knew he would do what he could.
The next day, I went to the toilet where Dad was shaving. This was something that I loved to do. I loved to watch Dad shave. I asked him why mom was so sad. Dad stopped shaving as he looked at himself in the mirror and after a few minutes told me that mom and he were both scared and afraid. They had a problem and hoped that it would be solved. It was a problem the adults had, and I did not have to think about it.
I could not concentrate at school. Mom was sad and Dad said they were always afraid. I never really considered that parents could be afraid. Then I thought that they could always be worried about their jobs or how they would pay for repairs. It made me think that I was happy that I was a child. We only had to worry about the next exam.
The teacher noticed that I was not concentrating and asked me if I needed to talk about something. I smiled and said that everything was fine.
After school, my best friend Sean asked me if I wanted to play football with the boys in the park. I agreed and we played for an hour. It was a chance for me to think of something else than the situation at home. I was happy and smiling as we kicked the ball back and forth. Time flies when you are with friends, and I knew that it was late. I had to go home. I often came home late and mom and dad knew it was about football.
Today, when I came home, mom was mad and she said she was worried. She yelled at me saying that she was so worried and thought I would never come home. I started crying and apologised. I ran to my room and cried on my bed.
I was not crying because mom cried at me, but because I knew she was so sad and worried. I didn’t know what to do and it was hard seeing.
Mom came in and sat beside me. She apologised because she was mad and told me I had a right to know what is happening.
“This woman that was here,” Mom explained, “She was in the hospital the same time as you were born. She gave birth to a boy when I gave birth to you. Now she says that you were switched at birth. This means that the nurses by accident put the wrong name tag on you. She thinks that you are her son and her son is mine. She wants you to live with her.”
To be continued