I wasn't a problematic kid. I didn't talk back to my teachers. I didn't vandalize the school on weekends. But I also wasn't a prodigy. I'm not “gifted.” I was pretty much your average kid with average grades. Except I had a pathetic quota of friends and I had a tough time communicating with new people. But I was still an angelic child, until one afternoon in second grade, when I became a juvenile delinquent. One day, we had show and tell and someone brought in a Do It Yourself – Diary Of a Wimpy Kid book. My small, underdeveloped, seven year old brain decided that I craved it. I “couldn't live without it.” Except, I didn't want to just have my parents purchase me my own, like anyone else with common sense would do. I desired his, no exceptions.
“Kids! Everybody! Come line up!” My teacher announced at the entrance of the classroom. It was the end of the day when we were performing our quotidian ritual of lining up like soldiers at the door. To my luck, where I was positioned to line up was near the throne of the boy who possessed the sacred book. I approached the folder attached the back of the small chair and used my poster board like a shield to block the folder from everyone's eyesight. I then swiped the book like Swiper from Dora The Explorer. I completed my mission. I was now a felon. I broke the law. Victorious, I happily skipped out of the room. I hopped on the bus and I once again used to poster board to block the original owner from seeing that I held his book, while sitting next to my best friend at the time. She wondered what I was doing. Why would I have to hide it if I did nothing wrong? I told her he was jealous of me having the, “same” book, and I didn't want him to see. I felt bad for lying, but I didn’t want to get caught.
Trotting home from the bus stop, I recall telling my mom all about how I “discovered the book underneath my brother's bed,” and decided to use it as my own. I'm surprised she didn't question why I would be under my brother's bed in the first place. My mother, realizing that she did not buy my brother this book and has never seen this book in her entire life, looked inside the book. Because that's just the smart person that she is. Upon browsing the pages of the book, she discovered not only this boy's phone number, but his parents', too. She rang up his parents, and they came over. Shaking vigorously, while drenched in tears, I was forced to withdraw the book myself and apologize for what I did. My father was not pleased when he found out. He demanded that I never address him as ‘dad’ ever again. I remember the disappointment that was projected on his drained face. Wrinkles prominent in the corners of his eyes and little beads of sweat gathering up on his forehead from yelling. I had let him down. Luckily for me, it only lasted less than a month, when he eventually forgot. Most people might think of his punishment as being too harsh for such a young child, but it was the only way that I would learn. Knowing who I am, just giving me a stern talking to wouldn't have done the job.
Your actions have consequences. Unfortunately, I didn't know that prior to this occasion. I stole and I got punished, exactly the way it should be. But I don't regret what I did. Everything that happened shaped me into the person I am currently, and hopefully will continue to be in the future. And I am eternally grateful that I was forgiven. Even though I didn't go to juvie, I still felt like I did time. No more delinquency for me. I will never do this again.