I loathed the second grade. Undeniably, it was the worst year of my entire childhood. It was in the second grade that I first experienced that dreadful feeling of anxiety. As a matter of fact, I was completely anxiety-ridden my entire second grade year. My teacher was nice enough. The school was great. I had friends. But notwithstanding these favorable circumstances, there was something atrocious which outweighed any and all good. This monstrosity caused me to lose countless hours of sleep; and it was because of this grotesque phenomenon that I would chase after my mom's car each day after she dropped me off for school...running and screaming, arms and legs flailing, through the parking lot like a madman. I always caused a scene. I can recall groups of students stopping in their tracks and marveling at what they were witnessing. It didn't bother me. My only objective was to get my mother to stop her car. I usually always succeeded. In retrospect, I feel terrible that I had made her life so hard. But what right did this heinous occurrence have in making my life so hard? Now please don't laugh...because I know you will be tempted. My mom and dad could hardly contain their laughter when I finally confided in them as to what had been bothering me. So what would be so horrible that it could cause a 7 year old to lose sleep? And what could be so dreadful that it would allow her to expedience such an adult prone feeling as anxiety? And what could be so awful that it would later be described as atrocious, and monstrous, and grotesque, and heinous...you ask? Well...it's throw up. Throw up is the answer. Throw up is what made me loath the 2nd grade. Throw up is what gave me anxiety. Throw up is what instilled in me the urge to run through the school parking lot, chasing after my mother's car. Once a week, and sometimes even more than once a day, someone (or a handful of people), would throw up in class. Some of these class mates I had at one time considered to be my friends, but not after committing such a revolting act. Aimee Jo Beard tried to make it to the trash can, but missed, and ended up catching the majority of it in her hands. Months later, at recess, she reached her hand out for mine as we both struggled our way across a balance beam...but I refused her once throw-up saturated extremity, and would only hold onto her wrist. Candice Roberts was one of my closest friends. She lived right across the street from me, but after she tossed her cookies in class, I made up an excuse as to why I wouldn't be able to make it to her birthday party...which was weeks after the incident. And still to this day, I cannot sing the fa la la la la part of Deck the Halls, without thinking about Jeremy Thompson and his popcorn colored barf which splattered all over the back of the girl sitting in front of him during our holiday assembly. Yes, these three incidents, and many others, made a lasting impression on me. And I only share all of this to illustrate how far I have come. Ruby threw up last night, and although most of it landed in the big, white, porcelain bowl in which it was aimed...there was still some floor clean up required, which proudly, I took care of all by myself. And having a baby with acid reflux makes me no stranger to regurgitated stomach contents. Although throw up still makes me nervous and anxious...I'm proud to say that the simple act of becoming a mother, has given me the chance to take this dreaded, atrocious, monstrous, grotesque, and heinous beast...in stride. Thank you very much.