A novel by Danny
I didn't have to go back to school for a couple weeks and I didn't know why but I didn't much care `cause I didn't ever want to go back there; I was plannin' on stayin' on our farm and workin' for the rest of my life. I figured I done had enough learnin' that I would ever need for workin' on the farm. Cows and chickens don't care none about compound fractions or whether I am usin' the right verbs, nouns and gerunds when I talk. And anyhow, when I was in my old school I always got A's on everything but in my new school I never got even one A on anything. Mostly they give me B's on my school stuff and even sometimes, they would say my work was as bad as a C grade.
After a couple of weeks passed on the farm and I started to think I would never have to go back to school again this one big funny shaped brown truck came drivin' down our lane and stopped right in front of our house. You can sure guess that I was plum curious about that funny shaped truck but I was up in the hayloft of the barn pushing hay bails down to Kevin in the truck. So, I could not jump down and run off or Kevin would get after me and if he didn't pa sure would when he found out.
Least Kevin seemed about as curious as I was so that I had time to stand and watch as ma came out to that truck and took four great big packages from someone. I never got to see who was drivin' that funny shaped truck and after a spell I seen ma wave and go back into the house as the truck drove back up our lain. Whoever it was honked his horn as he passed us and Kevin, he waved his hand kind of like he was sayin' howdy to someone he knew.
I asked Kevin if he known who that was but he said he didn't have no idea so then I asked him what kind of truck he thought that was and he said it wasn't any kind of truck. Kevin started movin' one of the bales into place and then looked up to me. I guess he was figurin' I should have been ready to push down another to him but I was still watching the cloud of dust from the truck as it sort of hung in the air. Kevin finally told me that it was what they call a Postal Van. Up until then I had never seen a Postal Van before but I seen plenty of them now.
I guess I was gawkin' too long `cause Kevin threw one of his gloves at me and whacked me right in the face. It didn't hurt none, actually it was pretty darn funny and made me sort of forget about that Postal Van for a while. Well I guess I didn't really forget, I suppose I just kind of pushed it out of my head and got back to work before Kevin got after me.
I ended up havin' to wait until suppertime to ask what was in them four great big packages but ma said I should just never mind until I finished cleanin' my plate. We was havin' boiled dinner again, which I like plenty... normally, but we been havin' it lots on account that ma sort of planted way too many cabbage seeds in the vegetable garden this year. She swears it was supposed to be head lettuce but them seeds popped up and grew into cabbages. That same thing happened a couple summers back but that time it was ma's mater plants. Somehow ma got the pepper and mater seeds mixed up and we had so many maters that ma had us goin' all over the county givin' away jars of canned maters to everyone. I never though I would get sick of fried maters, mater sauce, mater stew, and mater soup. Heck fire we still got so many jars still of canned maters from that summer, but pa complained and ma stopped cookin' with maters for a while. I can tell that pa is gettin' that same look every time ma makes boiled dinner or stuffed cabbage rolls or even coleslaw. Pa is a long burnin' candle but I bet by the middle of winter we won't be havin' cabbage no more for a while.
So, when supper was done I was about to ask about the packages again when pa looked at me and said I should go up to my room and wait for him to come up. Boy you can sure bet that I was scared. I sat on the side of my bed ringin' my hands and tryin' to think what I had done wrong to get sent to my room. Any time pa ever told one of us to go to our room and wait for him, it meant that he was fixin' on tannin' us with his belt. I thought, and thought and thought but all I could come up with was somehow he found out that me and John-Jo had been out back of the church three Sunday's back kissin' on Mary-Ann Parker.
I must of heard our front screen door open and close a dozen times while I sat up there waitin' for pa to come up.
Pa never came right up to tan us; he always left us sittin' up in our room worryin' and frettin' for the longest time. I remember one time when Kevin had been caught throwin' rock at people's mailboxes on the way to school. Pa sent him right back home and said he was to go up to our room and wait. Pa left him up there until bedtime before he went up and tanned Kevin real good. I seen Kevin's bottom the next mornin' and it was all black and blue and still even had big welts where the buckle had caught him. What was worst was that instead of goin' to school, pa made Kevin get out the tractor and clear the back pasture, which took Kevin until just before the sun went down. I felt so bad for Kevin `cause he was cryin' when he came in the house `cause he was hurtin' so bad and he took forever just to get up the steps to our room. He went to bed with no lunch or supper in his belly and he cried all through that night.
By the time I heard someone comin' up the stairs, I was pretty darn scared and couldn't help but to start cryin'. I seen pa walk in carryin' one of the big packages, which confused the dickens out of me, `cause I honestly expected to see him carryin' his belt, not a package. Then ma came in next with another of the packages. Kevin followed behind ma with the last two packages, laid them down on his bed and left without even lookin' at me or sayin' a single word. Ma set her package down on Kane's bed and pa put his package down on the floor at the foot of my bed.
Before I knew what I was doin' I was blurtin' out how sorry I was, that I did not mean it and I would never do it again while sobbin' in between my words.
Ma tried to tell me that I wasn't in trouble for anything but I had, had too much time to sit alone and could not turn off my panic and fear just like that. I continued to cry until pa sat down beside me and for the first time that I can remember, he called me by my real name. He said, "Kristian we only wanted to talk to you in private. You are not in trouble at all!" but then he paused a second, rubbed at his stubble covered chin before askin' in a sort of way that made me feel a little more reassured that I wasn't in trouble after all, "Wait, uh, what did you think you were in trouble for?"
Ma swatted at pa and told him to stop makin' jokes when I was so upset. She then sat down on the other side of me so that I had ma on my right side and pa on my left both huggin' me and tryin' to get me to stop cryin' long enough to hear what it was they wanted to talk with me about in private.
After ma and pa told me what was in them four packages I think I would rather pa had tanned me for a whole week. When they had come to my school and met with Mr. Glick, he told them that a boy my age still wettin' and messin' my pants was not something they could accept and if I was to continue attendin' that school then something would have to be done to better deal with my problem.
The solution ma and pa came up with was not such a good idea as far as I was concerned. They decided that the only way I was goin' to be able to go back to that school and get a real good education was for me to have to wear diapers under my school britches.
I screamed and cried for the longest time and even once, I tried to run out of the room but pa caught me by the seat of my britches and held me `til I stopped tryin' to get away. In the end, they won out. I really don't think I had much chance of winnin' anyhow. It was plum past bedtime and I was sure my brothers were wantin' to come get in bed and pa he was thinkin' the same thing `cause he stood up and said he was goin' to go see that the girls was tucked in while ma helped get me ready for bed. Just before he walked out of my room, he turned, pointed his big finger at me and said that he didn't want no more cryin' from me.
Now the way they had explained it to me, I figured I was only goin' to have to wear them diapers for school but I guess I had it all wrong `cause ma, she made me take off all my clothes and then get myself on my bed. That was when I got my first look at the inside of the first package. Ma opened the one that pa had set at the foot of my bed and pulled out a big white bit of cloth. I thought for a second that it were a towel for takin' a bath but then I seen it actually was a big white diaper. Down in that package was some rubber pants and a big bag of diaper pins too that ma pulled out.
I was tryin' my best not to cry but it was powerful hard and I was glad pa had left `cause I think I was still havin' some tears while ma pulled that diaper up tight and pinned it on me. I could tell that ma had a lot of practice at doin' this `cause she had it on me in practically no time at all and was pullin' me back up so I could slip the rubber pants on to keep everything inside.
Ma was nice enough to put them packages down on the floor by my bed where the others was not goin' to have to see them so well and she also let me get into bed and get all covered up before tellin' my brothers they could come up.
I pretended I was already sleepin' when they came into our room and not a one of them said even a single word. They just got their clothes off, got into their nightclothes and hopped into bed.
The next day I found out from Kane that ma and pa had told all my brothers and sisters about the diapers and pa also told them that if they make one smart crack about me havin' to wear them that he was goin' to make them go to school in diapers too.
Also on that first mornin', I found out that not all them packages was filled with diaper stuff. One of them had some new school pants for me that would fit over my diaper. I was hopin' that I'd get some new pants for wearin' at home but instead I got some of Kevin's and Karen's old jeans that ma put a new hem in so they didn't drag the ground when I walked. They was still pretty dang big on me even wearin' a diaper so I had to wear spenders to keep them from fallin' right off of me.
Ma and Pa didn't make me go right back to school. They gave me another week at home to get used to wearin' the diapers and havin' to have help with puttin' them on. I was still able to go get myself cleaned up if I did number two in the back of my diaper but I had to have help gettin' a fresh diaper on `cause I couldn't manage to get them pins done up. Karen and Kathy started helpin' me whenever ma was busy. They was pretty nice about it and didn't tease me none. Seein' how I was used to everyone seein' me naked, I mean when nine people live in a three-bedroom farmhouse with only one bathroom you can bet there ain't much privacy for us boys. The girls get more privacy `cause pa says they need it and I suppose he's right.
One problem I had with wearin' diapers was that I had to learn how to walk and not look like I was one of them funny lookin' birds we learned about in school. You know the ones that are all black and white and can't fly even though they are birds? I can't remember what they call them but that is what I think I looked like at first.
Every one of my brothers and sisters treated me pretty much the same except for Kevin. I don't think he was too keen on me any more `cause he hardly ever says nothing to me less it has to do with workin' the farm. I was startin' to think maybe he didn't like me anymore but then when pa said I had to go back to school the next day, Kevin took me out on the tractor to way out past the back pasture and right to the edge of our property fence line. For the longest time he didn't say anything, he just kept pickin' up rocks and chuckin' them at the fence.
Finally, he turned to me and came right out and said that if I didn't want to go back to that school that he would tell pa and ma that he wasn't goin' to let them send me back. I didn't know what to say about that so I didn't say nothin' for a spell and he went back to chuckin' stones again.
Now I really did not want to go back to school, not wearin' diapers but I knew that if Kevin went up against pa like that, pa would win and Kevin would probably not come out of it to well. I was scared that maybe pa would get so mad that he might even make Kevin leave. I was just about to tell him that I didn't want him to get pa mad at him when he turned around again and said something else to me.
He said, "Listen Nevada, I ain't always goin' to be around to protect you from bullies. Sooner or later you're goin' to have to start fightin' for yourself."
I seen he was startin'
to cry but he turned so I could not see and then he said, "
Maybe I was supposed to say something but I honestly didn't know what to say. I had known for a long time that Kevin and Meggin had been datin' but I never once thought they might run off to get married.
When I didn't say nothing he went on talkin' with his back to me. He said that he knows pa would never approve but he was sure that ma would forgive them someday. Kevin also said that he knows that once he and Meggin were married that pa would never let him come back to the farm again.
I'd been sittin' on pa's tractor that whole time listenin' to Kevin tell me all this. I weren't cryin' `cause I guess I was to surprised and maybe way down inside I knew someday Kevin and Karen would get married and have to have their own home somewhere else.
We were both super quiet for a very long time before I finally came up with a question to ask him. Actually, it sort of just popped out my mouth kind of without my brain doin' any of the work. I asked, "When you goin'?"
That must have been the right thing to ask `cause he turned back around and was smilin' when he said they was plannin' on goin' a week from today, while everyone is in church.
Next, I asked, "Will I ever see you again?"
Kevin surprised me `cause he walked over nice and slow to the tractor like he was goin' to say something but instead he reached up and snatched me right out of the seat. He flung me through the air and dropped me kind of soft like on the ground. He was on me before I could react and was ticklin' the life out of me before he told me that the whole American army couldn't keep him from checkin' in on me.
About half way back up to the barn, I got Kevin to stop the tractor for a minute, long enough for me to tell him that he was right. That it is time I start fightin' my own fights and that I guessed Monday was as good a day to start as any.