This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade.
Mom was going to counseling a lot, or some type of meetings. It was all hush-hush and grown-up talk but I had surmised that much. And that it had something to do with her parents. One day she took me with her.
The therapist was named Diana and she was really friendly. They always were. This was not my first therapy rodeo. I knew all the tricks, how to charm them the way I charmed Mom sometimes by pretending to agree with her, or maybe temporarily really agreeing with her on the way home from that visit to Mrs. Domaracki the day before school.
I knew how to pretend to be good. Talk about bad things other kids do, even if you’re really the one who does them more than anyone else. Use logic. Be interesting. Maybe mention quirky things like the flagrant love you had for the blood red octagons of stop signs as a three-year-old. If they can tell you’re smart, that you read a lot, that you think and feel deeply, they’re less likely to blame you. If you can infuse some Dad into your voice, speak with his bland cheerful optimism about topics like the weather, then maybe they’ll think you’re normal, let you draw pictures or play games. You have to not show all your smarts though, so then you can beat them in Battleship.