Amazing Kids! Magazine

My Imperfect Life

By Brenda Aceves, age 12, San Pablo


It was a beautiful, bright day in January for me. I also was very happy since everything went well, of course. I was happy that it was going to be the weekend as well. I was in a good mood until my mother spoke to me once she came to pick me up.

“Hi, Jade, how was your day?” my mom asked me.

“Good, and yours?” I replied.

“I talked to your school yesterday and saw your grades. Why do you have B’s and C’s?” she commented, completely wiping out my good mood.

“What? For which classes?” I asked my mom.

“For all of them. Why did your grade in history lower from an A to a B? Why do you have C’s in math and science? Can you tell me why? I’ve told you multiple times to ask the teachers for help, you know.”

This was the MILLIONTH time my mom gave me this lecture. I did try in my classes; however, homework was when everything started going downhill. To be fair, there had been four assignments given to me in science, plus I was taking advanced math, so those were my excuses. Of course, that didn’t matter to my mom. And yes, I was aware that I seemed like “that kid” who makes up excuses and acts like she doesn’t care about anything. I actually did care.

As soon as we went to pick up my sister, I realized I had never been more relieved in my life. I began thinking more about my life and others’. I thought it was really crazy how people could visualize someone as “smart” just because that person was able to do really well in only one class. I remembered how people in history class called me smart when I helped them with their math homework. I remembered as well that I had been called “smart” only because those people knew I was taking advanced math classes—those people didn’t know me.

That was why I gave credit to the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It really wasn’t true about me being smart: All I did was pay attention in class. After we got out of the car and got home, I was relaxed. I also knew that I was going to a program that was going to help me do my homework and all. And yes, my mother was telling me about that as well. I didn’t do any homework since I figured I was going to do that tomorrow anyway.

That whole day I watched online videos and then slept at 12 a.m. Then the next day, I was prepared to go to the program.

“I was going to run a bit late, I figured. It’s fine though; I’ll be okay,” I thought.

As soon as I was in the car and got my seatbelt on, my mom started talking to me.

“Jade, did you put on sunscreen?” my mother asked.

“Yes,” I said, sounding irritated.

“Did you prepare?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Comb your hair?” my mother asked once more.

“Are you serious?” I muttered. “Yes!” Out of all the things of the world, my mother was concerned about how my hair looked. Genius.

“About yesterday, you never told me why you had C’s in science and math,” my mother said.

“Ugh,” I thought. “Here we go again.”

“We haven’t had a lot of assignments for science. I’m only missing one. I didn’t know I had a C,” I told her.

“And for math?” she asked.

I then became silent. My mother seemed ignorant to me because I dealt with this “rare” thing called procrastination. I did most of my homework during class. As soon as we got out of the car when we arrived, I started speed-walking. I looked behind me, and it looked like my mom was going to go with me. This FOR SURE was not going to go well….at least for me. As soon as we got on the short, gray steps, I quickly walked up the hill that led to the automatic door. I walked past a volunteer, and my mom asked her where to go. I was about to facepalm since I had gone there for a few months and definitely knew where to go.

“Go to AA-217,” she told my mom.

“Thank you,” my mom replied.

It was a bit funny when I came back to it. We were 12 steps from the actual classroom. As we got there, I said good-bye to my mom and quickly went to take a seat. I saw my mom talking to a volunteer that was supposed to help me, and I was nervous as heck. I then saw her walking towards me, asking me a question.

“Do you need any help with your math and science homework?” she just asked me.

And I was right again.

“Uh, can I go to the bathroom?” I said before I felt my eyes getting red and filling with tears.

“Sure,” she told me.

I got out of my seat and started walking very quickly towards the bathroom. I pretended to use the stall and quietly started crying. I couldn’t believe my mother anymore. I started thinking negative.

Why didn’t she ever understand me? I couldn’t talk to anyone; this felt very personal for me. I didn’t want anyone to know about this, yet I wished could talk to someone honestly. I then started thinking a lot more about school, driving me insane. “I can’t do anything,” I thought. “I have no one. I can’t do anything…why can’t I do everything right?”

At this rate, I felt hopeless. Lost. Depressed. I couldn’t do anything, for some reason. I waited until my eyes were not red anymore before leaving the bathroom.

“Oh, are you okay? Do you need a hug?” asked the woman who talked to my mom earlier.

So then I hugged her.

“Do you want to go outside and get some fresh air?” she asked me.

I nodded. As soon as we got outside, I sat in a seating area next to the woman. I felt bad for her honestly: If I were in her situation, I wouldn’t know how to help me.

After a few minutes of waiting, she asked me around six questions.

“What school do you go to?” she asked.

Of course. This was not ending well. After I quickly replied to her, she asked me another question.

“So do you like math?” she said quickly.

“Yeah,” I replied.

She then asked, “What’s your favorite subject at school?”

“History,” I quickly answered.

After only those two questions, I knew already how bad this was going to go for me since nothing ever went my way.

“So how’s your family?” she asked me nicely.

That made it three questions.

“Great, thank you,” I told her calmly.

“Oh. We have to leave in five minutes. How do you like school?”


“It’s great,” I said.

And then there were five.

After the five minutes thankfully passed, I went back to the classroom. I rushed back to my seat and started organizing my papers. I still couldn’t believe how quickly I asked to go to the bathroom. After a while, I became calm. I was happy that someone cared that I was fine even though that person was not my mother or anyone I really knew.

I thought, “Maybe there is someone who cares. Maybe there is a light behind all of this darkness. Maybe this isn’t my destiny. What if I don’t do well in math? What will happen? What if I never deal with procrastination? Maybe there is someone inspirational who is going to affect your whole life.”

A few more hours before I left, I began to think more.

“What do I do? Should I listen? Ask for help? I feel trapped inside this awful loophole leading to nothing but desperation. This is why parents should NEVER put their children in this situation.”

That day I realized I really needed to appreciate the people who support me. I learned I have to always remember to look up, walk ahead. I knew I was imperfect, but so was everyone. I needed to try if I wanted to make it. I needed to try in life, I told myself.

“The only way I will ever make progress is by moving forward,” I told myself. “Don’t be the person in front of the camera. Don’t let anyone in your corner; ignore the circle. Keep your head up, and move on. I know I’m just someone who is cheesy and is acting inspirational. But it’s the truth: We all go through this.

“It feels like being stuck in darkness that feels like eternity, having no escape. When there is a will, there’s a way. Kindness can really affect people during the darkest times. I’m probably not going to make it through life, but I have to remember.

“I need to try, no matter how difficult it gets. I have to trust people to help me through life, no matter how difficult it gets. I trust my family to help me through my darkest times. I am going to try, but remember, there is not always a happy ending.”