MOST DISAPPOINTING DAY OF MY CHILDHOOD

Requested by @aus10
  1. It's Boston. 1978.
  2. We've just moved to the US from Scotland.
    It's not a great time for my family. The stress is a lot. The adjustment is hard.
  3. And my dad's drinking isn't helping.
  4. My mom is especially miserable, going from being in walking distance from all her friends and family to stuck in Newton with four young kids and no car.
  5. For the first time, I have my own bedroom.
    It's an entire floor away from my parents. And it has one of those tiny creepy doors that lead to an attic.
  6. I'm pretty much a miserable wreck.
  7. My dad comes home one night. Gets pretty sauced.
    He's actually very sweet when he's drunk. At least at this point in our lives. We're all being rowdy and he pulls me onto his lap.
  8. He says: "You're my favorite."
    Can you even imagine? I'm one of four and I'm WINNING. My happiness is freaking immeasurable.
  9. I can't keep my special status a secret.
    So I decide to tell my mom the next morning. She's in the kitchen ironing. She looks tired to the bone. Her cigarette is burning down to the stub in the ashtray. I tell her.
  10. She looks up at me, sighs, and says, "He only said that because he was drunk."
    And she goes back to her ironing.
  11. I understand now that she was at her wit's end. I know she wasn't trying to hurt me. I know she wasn't thinking. I know it was more about her misery than anything to do with me.
  12. But that memory sits somewhere right smack in the middle of me: that time I was *almost* special.