I’m SO mad right now! I blew it. I totally blew it! And stupid Katie saw the WHOLE thing! I looked like an idiot in front of everybody!
I didn’t tell anybody, but I was really, really nervous about football tryouts today. I was sorta panicking about it before I got out on the field, and I guess that was kinda when it started. My chest felt like… heavy, kinda. Like that funny feeling you get sometimes when you’re gonna cry, but you’re trying really, really hard not to.
I knew from the second I walked out on the field that I was gonna suck. And I did!
The grass was all slippery and I was so scared. I tried kicking the ball, and I actually MISSED it! I had to try again. And when I did, I still didn’t make it into the goal. It took like three tries before I did!
Then Coach gave us some directions, but I couldn’t really understand what he said. He was too far away and talking way too fast. Almost every time he told us to do something, I ended up being the last one to do it! It was SO embarrassing!
And I was running SO slow. Way slower than the other kids. My chest still had that heavy-feeling, so I was trying to “take it easy”. That’s what my parents always tell me to do when my lungs start feeling all funny. But I could see Katie giggling at me and the coach shaking his head and I knew I was doing awful. I knew I had to do better!
So I started running harder. Harder than I think I’ve ever ran in my LIFE! But that’s when it happened. Instead of the heavy-feeling, I got that terrible tight-feeling, like somebody was squeezing my chest. Or stepping on it really hard. It’s the scariest feeling ever. I hate it!
And once it starts, I can’t stop it! Not on my own, anyway. Not without my inhaler.
Ugh! I still don’t GET it! I do okay at gym class and stuff most of the time. Sometimes I need a couple puffs of my inhaler… But I haven’t had a big attack like that in a LONG time!
At least Nyla was really nice to me. She always is. That’s why she’s my best friend.
She walked back inside with me to the nurse’s office. I didn’t even have to ask. She just did. Then she sat with me while I used my inhaler and waited for mom and Papa to come pick me up.
I was really really happy she came with me, but I was really jealous of her too. I didn’t tell her that, obviously. But her tryout was SO good. So much better than me! She didn’t miss the ball! Or run slow as a turtle! Or end up having a stupid asthma attack like I did.
And of course I had to start crying like a stupid baby about it. And that just made it even harder to breathe! Ugh! It was the worst day ever!
I still remember when I was really little and my Ur-Opa Tobi taught me all about football. I thought it was so cool! He died when I was six, but I still remember how much fun we used to have kicking the ball around in the backyard.
Can you believe we’re related? My Ur-Opa was this huge football star, and then there’s me. Stupid, weak little Harper who can barely hear or breathe. And who sucks at football. I know that’s what everybody thinks of me.
I don’t even know what was worse. The way Katie laughed at me? The way coach looked like he felt so sorry for me?
Actually I think it might have been my parents. They did that thing they always do when I mess up or I suck at something.
They lied and told me I didn’t.
At first they were really super awesome about it. They took me out for ice cream to make me feel better (my favorite… so I kinda HAD to say yes when they asked!). I got cherry and it was sooooo good. And once they got me smiling again, that was then they started.
Oma was pretty quiet and just kinda listened while mom and Papa went into their big speeches.
They told me they were “proud of me” because I was “so brave” and “tried so hard”. And they promised me that I’d still make the team, or at least get another chance at tryouts.
I tried telling them it wasn’t just my asthma attack that messed me up. I told them about how I missed the ball and ran really slow. And I still remember what Papa told me. “You were just having an off day. You can do anything you put your mind to, baby girl. We’ll find a way”.
They’re always like this. No matter what I do or how bad I mess up, all they do is tell me how awesome I am! They always take my side, no matter what.
And most of the time, it’s pretty great.
Like, I try real hard to stay out of trouble, but sometimes I end up doing something kinda bad… like that time with Katie and the frog. But when I do, they never yell at me. Usually they just talk to me about why I did it. And once I tell them the reason, they always understand. (Sometimes they make me promise not to do it again though. And getting in trouble is SO dumb and also kinda scary, so that’s a really easy promise to keep!)
It’s not just when I get in trouble though. When I fail a test, they never get mad at me. Sometimes they even go to the teacher and ask for a re-do. And sometimes, the teacher says yes! They think I couldn’t hear the lesson or something… And a lot of times, that’s true.
But… it’s usually a little bit my fault. I really like writing stories in my head when the teachers are talking. Listening is just too HARD! I don’t think people get it. Even with my hearing aid on, I’ve gotta try SO much harder than anybody else to pay attention. It’s not fair. I hate it!
Anyway, times like that are when it’s super awesome to have mom and Papa act like that. But I guess it’s kinda starting to get a little annoying. Like today with tryouts.
Why couldn’t they be like normal parents and say “better luck next time” (or whatever grownups are supposed to say)? Why did they have to say all that stupid stuff just to try and make me feel better?
I wonder what Harper Hard-Heart’s parents would say if she sucked at football tryouts (That’s my supervillain, by the way. I started writing a story about her last night when I got home from school). Would her parents be like mine? Would they lie and be way too nice and try to make her feel better? Or would they be honest and tell her how bad she sucked and just move on? Hmm…
But actually… Harper Hard-Heart wouldn’t suck, would she? She’d probably have an asthma attack like me… But then she’d get back on her feet and go kick butt and be the best football player ever!
Too bad that’s all just pretend. Stupid stuff I make up for fun.
I’m not Harper Hard-Heart, no matter how much I wanna be.
I’m stuck being stupid Harper Rosebrook.