Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Robert’s Notebook

Posted by harmony0stars on May 30, 2010

Glory picked up the notebook. Robert had managed to fill not quite two pages. It certainly wasn’t scintillating prose. Either someone had told him contractions weren’t proper grammar at some point… or he‘d simply been trying to make sure he‘d get at least a page long essay. It made for some awkward writing, but it wasn’t like she was grading him on his grammar.

She flushed as she came to the second to last paragraph. She wasn’t angry as he seemed to think she would be, but she would definitely have to talk to him… as soon as there was time to sit him down, one on one.

Glory found a pen and wrote a short note under his essay. It would have to do until they had more time, maybe when he got home from school or over the weekend.


  • accountability: the state, fact, or position of being accountable to somebody or for something
  • blame

(There were two other definitions in the dictionary, but they do not really apply. I hope that is okay.)

Responsibility is the act of being accountable for something that you have done. You can also be responsible for a person or job. Even if you were trying to do something right, responsibility means you have to accept the consequences of what you did. I was given responsibility for Edgar, but I thought I could help better if I was with you like last time. I should not have put Edgar in danger because he was my responsibility and because he is a little kid (even if he was a little scary when I first met him). I was accountable for his safety, and he trusts me to take care of him and show him how things work. You trusted me to take care of him, and I behaved irresponsibly. I was not being a very good role model either.

I am also sorry I would not speak to you to about what happened. I should have told you right away, but I was embarrassed. If you tell me to do something, it’s because you trust me to do it properly, not because you don’t want me around. Keeping my mouth shut was irresponsible because it made you worry that you hadn’t done a good enough job making us safe.

Responsibility is important. Lots of people never take responsibility for their actions, like politicians, big businesses that pollute the planet, and drunk drivers. Sometimes people do not take responsibility for their actions because they are selfish, but I think that most people are afraid to take responsibility because they are ashamed of making the mistake in the first place. And nobody likes to admit that they were wrong. It is hard to admit when you were wrong, especially when you were trying to do something good. It is also hard to admit you were wrong to someone you respect.

If I had stayed in the motor home with Edgar, that crazy guy never would have caught us, and Edgar never would have been in any danger. That is my fault because you tried to put us somewhere safe while you did something dangerous. I just did what I wanted to do without thinking of Edgar. Hitchhiking would be very dangerous even if I was an adult. There are lots of people who would go out of their way to hurt kids if they had the chance, and most of them do not look or act crazy except when they are by themselves.

But I do not think you were being responsible when you left us out in the woods. Because if something had happened to you, we would have been out there alone and no one would have known about us. That is the other reason why I was not talking to you- because I was angry with you for leaving us out in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe you didn’t think of that.

I guess you can tell I am not really good at writing essays. I am going to leave my notebook outside your door, and you will probably be angry when you read it, but you said to write about responsibility, and I am not the only one who was wrong. You are responsible for me and Edgar, and that means you have to take better care of yourself too. So, I guess, if you do not want to teach me magic any more after you read this, that is okay. I still want to learn though, so I hope you will because I want to grow up to help people too.



Robert, this is a very good essay, and I am not angry with you at all. If I make mistakes, it’s because I’m new at being your guardian. I understand why you were upset and you’re right. When people make mistakes, most of the reason they don’t want to admit it is due to pride. They don’t want other people to know they made such an obvious mistake, like leaving kids out in the middle of nowhere where no one would find them if something happened.

I don’t have much practice communicating with people, so I’m glad that you aren’t afraid to speak your mind, even if I don’t always seem to appreciate it.

Thank you for writing this essay, and I will start teaching you very soon. I promise.

to Robert’s Notebook page 2


3 Responses to “Robert’s Notebook”

  1. here2read said

    Very very good. I used to make my son write an 1500-2500 word essay when ever I was really upset with him over something. And we did not count 3 letter words…
    I kept 6 of them, because like this, I found I was most mad at myself at the time, because I was in someway responisble for the outcome.

    You write as if you are a mother. If not, you would probably make a good one.

    • It was really hard to write as a 14 year old boy! I kept wanting to correct his writing style, and I felt that would have been very nitpicky if I had Glory do it. After all, the purpose of the essay was responsibility, not good grammar.

      Not a mom, though I have a six year old nephew. I don’t think I’d have the patience to have kids of my own, so I get to live vicariously through babysitting.

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