I'm Becky, I'm about to start 7th grade, and guess what? I'm not even nervous! I can hardly believe it.
If you'd have asked me three months ago, in May, how I was, I would have said "awful! My best friend Sarah is cuter than me, plus I have freckles that I hate, my grades are terrible, Daddy lost his job, and Mom and Dad are always arguing and blaming each other for everything."
Could anything be worse? You bet. I'll lay it out for you. Daddy moved out. He was drinking every day and gambling on sports. Mom told me he bets money he can't afford to lose. I was sure it was all my fault. I was getting terrible stomach aches and headaches; I figured if I could just get better grades, Mom and Dad would be happier and maybe everything would get better.
To top it all off, my parents came up with the brilliant idea of sending me to Australia for the summer to stay with relatives I hardly even knew. No way! It's 1972 -- what parents would send their child half-way around the world, to the middle of nowhere?
Well, I was in for some big surprises. By the end of the summer I'd found out my relatives had some of the same problems as my own family -- and I learned there are healthy, useful ways I can deal with it all. I learn it isn't my fault. And I come to have hope, one day at a time.
And that boring island country they shipped me to? I had a blast! We spent weeks snorkeling off a deserted island, and played tag with fish of every color in the rainbow. I found deadly cone shells, camped with tons of other travelers waiting for flooded bridges to reopen, saw huge sea turtles lay eggs, caught the biggest grouper fish with only a hand-line, netted yabbys, survived a scary speedboat ride in the middle of an ocean storm -- and that's just the beginning.
Join my adventure. You too might find joy and magic mixed with hope, and the understanding that one day at a time each of us can find peace.
P.S. I've ended up loving my freckles!