Know Your Audience | Teen Ink

Know Your Audience

January 15, 2019
By otg-griff BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
otg-griff BRONZE, Clarkston, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Yelling, crying, and a lot of laughing (courtesy of me). Sitting and listening next to the egg white door that will lead me to this outrageous cacophony from the downstairs made by my unstable mother and my ashamed sister. I’ll even look over the stairs and see if I can get a quick glimpse of the action. The tension in the house was at an all-time high, any moment a “ GRIFFIN!” could be screamed up the stairs. I needed a better view than looking over the stairs, so I scurried down the steps and made a rookie move when eavesdropping. I kicked over my little brother’s “Tickle Me” Elmo doll and the sound of cute giggling filled my mother’s ear canals. Wait. Let me take you back 5 hours ago, this situation is gonna need some explaining.  

Waking up this morning was just like every morning, troublesome and gruesome. The smell of sizzling crackling bacon woke me up from my deep slumber, dreaming of becoming the new Spiderman. I slipped into my Lightning Mcqueen slippers and voyage my way down the stairs following the succulent smell. Whiling traveling down the steps, I can hear the good morning screams of my baby brother Gavin. Gavin was 6 months old at the time, he was a big baby but “the best baby” says, my mother. I gather myself to the table waiting for the big plate of crispy bacon and fluffy scrambled eggs. “Did you make your bed?”, the same question that my mother ruins my mornings with. The rule is, if you don’t make your bed in the morning, no breakfast till it is made. Usually, I would get my sluggish self up and back upstairs, but this time I was prepared.” Yes, I did mom. And yes I would love 3 pieces of bacon.” I say with assurance. My mom’s face was surprised and only gave me two pieces. “ So Mom what's on today's to-do list?” I asked. She glanced up to think about all of the boring adult stuff we had to do.” We have to go grocery shopping, go register for church and then if you guys are good we will go out to dinner tonight”. Suddenly, doing all of the super boring adult stuff just became totally worth being silent for two hours! “ Now, go wake up your sister and get dressed and we will be on our way.” she basically gave me the hardest job in the world. Waking up my sister was like, trying to get a dog to speak fluent French, German, and Italian while sounding like a human. I screamed in her ear that the kids who played Zack and Cody were at the front door and ZOOM! She was off. While hearing the screams of disappointment from my sister, I quickly got dressed for the day in my favorite t-shirt and shorts and my light up Sketchers.

I strapped up into my car seat and prepared for blastoff. That's what I thought of when my mom would back out of the driveway, I thought I was gonna be the first kid on the moon. We would drive past other communities and I would think that they were planets. Every time we would stop anywhere, I would get out and say “one small step for a child, one large step childkind.” my mom would laugh at me every time. We sped through the grocery store like an eagle through the air. It felt like the Amazing Race to grab bread, milk, orange juice, and ice cream. It was like we were out of the store before we walked into the door. My siblings and I were very courteous in the grocery store, all of the old ladies were tellings us how well behaved we were. But that was gonna change very soon, we got in the car and Grace was showing some early signs of “ How much longer” syndrome. It's very contagious to very impatient children and it gets it to name by asking the same question “ How much longer? “. “ We just have one more thing to do sweetie and we will go home, put groceries away, and go out to dinner with dad. Okay?” but Grace was not having it. She would kick her feet against the seat, scream at the top of her lungs, and say that my mom ruins her life. Mom was really close to losing her mind. Grace did this on a regular basis when we go places she doesn’t like.


We pulled into the parking lot of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, it was a beautiful place. Sparkling water fountains, gorgeous brick layout, it was heavenly weather everytime you go there (no pun intended). My Mom wrangles the children and brought us into the main office. The smell of pool water fills the air, probably from the baptism fountain. “ Hello! Welcome to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church how may I help you?” says the lady from the front desk. She looked to be around her mid-thirties, dark chocolate hair, super thick glasses, and very nice and energetic. My Mom asked for the paperwork to become official members of the church, with nothing but a smile on the lady’s face she handed the paperwork to her. The lady tried to make small talk with my sister and me, she asked about how close we were with our parents and the response my sister gave her was shocking. “ Yeah, we are pretty close. When my Dad isn’t beating me.” SHE ACTUALLY SAID THAT! My Mom was quick to come into the conversation and changed the subject. And no my Dad would never beat any of his kids. But the lady just sat there in shock and looked really convinced to call the cops.

The car ride home was silent. Not a single sound was made. Zero. Zilch. Nada. It sounded like when a comedian tells a bad joke and the audience stays quiet. Five minutes in the car ride, we heard a phone ring. It was my Dad calling Mom, she didn’t hesitate to answer. Once we got home I was told to go to my room so my Mom could “chat” with Grace. When my mother says “ we need to chat ”, it is never good. So now that we are caught up with the story, I kicked over my little brother’s “Tickle Me” Elmo doll and the sound of cute giggling filled my mother’s ear canals. “ Griffin what the hell are you doing! ” I dashed up the stairs so fast; call me Usain Bolt. The next day I find out that Grace gets grounded for 1 month with no tv. Today a month without tv is not terrible because you still have other resources. When you were 6 years old, no tv was like being grounded from Netflix.

As the years go on, Grace has matured through the years.  When us humans grow from child to adult, we grow in maturity just as well as our bodies. The childhood memory that I just shared with you, gave you an idea of where Grace has come from. She used to back talk to my parents, sneak candy, and get into a hullabaloo of trouble. Humans tend to look back on moments like this and realize how silly, naive and childish they acted. Maturity is a key part of growing as a child. But, don't confuse immaturity and just being a kid. Don't rush being mature, guide the child to maturity.

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