"Wake up, Courtney! You're late!" Tim, my troublemaker-of-a-brother shouted.
"We packed your lunch. Now get dressed!" Danika, my cunningly-clever sister, said.
The moment I opened my eyes I panicked. "Not on my first day of first grade!"
I rushed to get my new clothes on, then quickly laced up my bright neon high-tops I'd been aching to wear for the past week. My siblings followed me to the door, Danika handing over the backpack that had mysteriously been filled with a full lunch and my school supplies.
"Just go!" They insisted together, before I had a chance to evaluate everything in my bag.
I jumped on my neon magenta scooter with white wheels, and started out for school.
"I can't be late, can't be late," I chanted, my feet tiring quicker than usual.
The tight fit of my converse high-tops caused a blister to puff up on my right heel, but I kept up the pace and scooted along using my other foot to push.
I knew the trek to school was only a mile, but halfway there both heels had blisters. All I could think about was being late on my first day of first grade.
Finally, after being bogged down by minor injuries and the backpack that shouldn't have felt nearly as heavy as it did, I had the last stretch of sidewalk in my sights.
I knew where the bike racks were, knew where my classroom was, knew my teacher's name. I had a place to be, and I knew exactly where that was.
As I locked up my scooter with expert finesse, I noticed the parking lot was empty. That didn't keep me from running to get to my classroom. And I would have, if the gate hadn't been locked. But it was.
Because I had been late for school on Labor Day. School started the next morning.
That's a true story, folks. My sister and brother have since become two very caring, loving adults, but when they were younger...they were pretty mean. When they apologize now for playing pranks like this one (because I remember them, and they don't, so it helps to remind them every now and again), all I can say is they gave me memories of holidays I will NEVER forget.
Just for the curious readers--yes, those neon high-tops did break in. Eventually. As for the contents of the backpack, all I know is it was heavier than normal. I was too busy crying my way home to remember ALL the details. Instead of having Labor Day traditions...I just think back to my childhood and am instantly entertained!