Summer vacation - filled with stuff I’m not supposed to talk about

Editor’s note: Steve is on vacation this week. In his place we’re publishing a homework assignment completed by fourth-grader Braden Richardson of Fruitvale.

This essay is called “What I did on my summer vacation.”

Mrs. Taylor said we had to write it, so I did. She’s my teacher. She said it had to be 650 words. Some people spell out six hundred and fifty instead of just writing 650, but I like to write “650.” By the way, I’m not going to try to add in a whole bunch of words just to get to 650, or six hundred and fifty, as some people call it, because Mrs. Taylor says that’s against the rules. So I won’t do it. At all.

It was a pretty boring summer. Nothing exciting happened, except for Uncle Bobby getting sent to detox for sniffing paint. But Mom says we’re not supposed to talk about that, so I won’t.

One fun thing we got to do was be the host family for one of the Grand Junction Rockies’ future stars.

He was fun to have around, even though he complained a lot. I told him that I didn’t care if he was the third overall draft pick and got a $4.8 million signing bonus; I’ve been here longer, so I get the top bunk.

I also had to do chores all summer. Dad said I’d get $20 every time I mow the yard. He also said that if I ran over a sprinkler head and broke it, I’d have to pay him $5. So far, I owe him $480.

When it got hot in June, I asked Mom and Dad if they could take me and my sister to Water World in Denver. They thought that sounded like a fun idea. Then they saw how much it costs for tickets and gas and stuff. That’s when Dad turned on the hose and said we should run through the sprinkler.

So basically, we haven’t gone anywhere fun.

We did have to drive to my mom’s family reunion. Dad said not to tell Mom, but that Mom’s family members were all weird people and that some of them had three eyeballs and stuff. He said it’d be boring for us kids, as the grown-ups would spend the whole time standing around drinking beer and sharing stories from prison.

Dad also said not to eat anything at the reunion potluck because us outsiders “didn’t share the immunity from intestinal disease that your mother’s family had genetically developed from centuries of poor cooking and bad hygiene.” Whatever that means.

What else? Oh, yeah. Before he got sent to detox, Uncle Bobby came over and showed me some illegal fireworks that he got in Wyoming. We caught some crickets and tied them to the bottle rockets and pretended they were astronauts. But Mom says we’re not supposed to talk about that, so I won’t.

My stupid sister and I fought a lot all summer. Mom got mad one day and grounded me for a week. Afterwards I had to promise that I would never microwave a Barbie again.

Mom sure was mad a lot this summer. She even started smoking again, and she hadn’t smoked since that time when Grandma and Grandpa Richardson stayed with us for a week.

That reminds me: One night we got to stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Dad said Mom needed a break because me and my sister were “going to drive her to the nuthouse.” But that’s not true. I can’t even drive yet.

All I know is Mom was really excited for us to learn. Every single day she kept checking the calendar to see when school was going to start again.

Overall I’m glad to be back in school. This is the end of my essay, which is 650 words long. Or as some people call it, six hundred and fifty words.


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