The Preenses

I discovered this 'gem' in an old workbook of mine from first grade. Most of the spelling and grammatic errors have been replicated in their entirety.

Onc's upoun a time there lived a beauty who had a green dres and black boots. She was looking like a St. Patrick preenses. But she wasen't marite. She was a grate beauty, oh wat a grate pursine. Rily she was looking like a preenses even if she didn't have a kroune. I want to look like her when I grow uq. One day she walk'd by her kastle. She walk'd and she saw a preense standing by. "I am yore frand," siad the preense. "I never had a frand," siad the beauty. So they marite together. They lived together happy as can be!

I can just hear the applause. ;) Brilliant, isn't it?

Firstly, a disclaimer: This was written about a year after I came to Canada, and about 5 months after I actively started to learn English... hence the horrible spelling. Yet, as frivolous and Disney-ed as this "story" is, there's more to it than meets the eye...

The reference to St. Patrick puzzled me when I first read it. St. Patrick princess -- wha? Then, I looked at some of my other stories... they were all about Valentines Day, Christmas, Halloween... I realized that I had been absolutely smitten with "Canadian" holidays like St. Patrick's Day, things that were not celebrated in the Ukraine. I don't know if it was so much that I enjoyed them, as the fact that I just wanted to belong. To belong to a world that was new and didn't understand me. I felt that if I reached into these holidays and celebrated them like everyone else did, I'd gain something that would make me the same as everyone else.

I guess that's what people mean when they say things like, "Christmas will bring us all together." At Christmas, everybody is longing to share -- share a feeling, an experience, a season. Christmas is that magical time when even the most simple people decorate their homes, even the most introverted people give strangers smiles, even the most stingy people buy gifts for others. Everybody is willing to step outside their comfort zone and into a place where they can belong... but then, like the snow, that fragile, crystalline Christmas spirit melts away as quickly as it came. How impermanent that magical, happy feeling is when it's based on material things!

Getting valentines and cutting out green shamrocks did nothing to make me feel like I belonged in first grade, in Canada, or in this world. Only love could do that. That fateful dialogue at the turning point of my story: "I am yore frand" -- "I never had a frand," speaks volumes about my own feelings back in first grade. I must have set the record for the loneliest five-year-old ever to grace the classroom... I cried in class every single day, to the point that I almost got kicked out of school for distrupting other students. I still don't know why I was like that, but I'll venture a guess: I just needed a friend. When I joined a different school for second grade, I found some wonderful people who were willing to share their recesses, snacks, and schoolyard secrets with me, and I barely shed a tear all year.

Perhaps I'm over-analyzing, but even the simplest, smallest, most mundane, most forgotten things in your life say something about you: the state your desk is in, the way you are sitting, your tone of voice when you told your mother you love her, the story you wrote back in first grade... it speaks about who you are. It's so much fun -- fun, and a little sad at the same time -- to look back and find all the little things that I now see in a totally different light. Some of these 'little things' are already in the trash, forgotten... by me, at least. But not by God.

He remembers and treasures up our every thought, want, and need, and gives us according to our needs in his perfect time. It took me several years to understand the real meaning of the holidays I celebrated. It took me several years to find some real friends who would stick with me through thick and thin. It may take me several years more to find my Prince Charming, if that's part of God's plan for me. But I think it's safe to say that, already, I'm living "happy as can be!"

Love, Oksana


Peter Wilson said...

That was an unusually enjoyable blog post. But then again, I have an affinity for kids and the childhood mentality. :) Either way, it was a good read. Thanks for sharing that.

Oksana said...

Thanks Peter! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

laura liz said...

after reading this post several times, and thinking about it just as much, i only have one thing to say... amazing! writing is definitely another talent of yours oksy ;)

Oksana said...

Haha, thanks! :D I'm finally starting to enjoy writing again... I had some not-so-great experiences with it, and I stopped writing for several years. So nice to be back at it, with God's grace! :)

pearlsanddiamonds said...

Hi Oksana! I love your name--what does it mean? Thanks for visiting our blog and leaving encouraging comments! We're thrilled to hear from other girls who love Jesus!

I enjoyed reading your sweet story. I reread some of my old works from time to time--but never find much depth in them. :)

BTW, if you're interested, you might check out our blogroll page and consider joining it!

Blessings in Jesus,

Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds

Oksana said...

Thanks Abigail! :)

My name actually means 'Glory Be to God' in Slavic... I just found that out about a few years ago. Pretty neat, huh?

I'll be sure to check out your blogroll page sometime in the coming weeks! :)


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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