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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Untangling my summer

How a Target trip relaxed my nerves for middle school
Provided by Peyton Promubol
One of the top things on my bucket list in elementary school was to ride a elephant. I checked off that box when I rode an elephant with my grandpa.

I hear a knock on my door.

My grandpa pops his head into my room.

“Hey, do you want to go to Target? I can buy you something.”


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It’s the summer before my sixth grade year.

Summer was my happy place, whether I was riding large, gray elephants beneath the blazing sun or playing arcade games until the sun dipped below the horizon. My afternoons were filled with swimming in the refreshing, clear blue pool that my grandpa spent hours cleaning. This is a glimpse of how my family and I spent my previous two summers in Thailand with my grandpa.

However, I was stuck in Houston this summer, and my grandpa came to stay with us. It was a particularly boring afternoon in July when I was procrastinating working on my “Hour of The Bees” summer reading project that I needed to finish before the first day of school. I sprawled out on my bed as usual during my long summer days and stared at my never ending to-do list.

A thought came to mind. A Target trip might motivate me to start my project and cast away the looming stress of starting middle school.

My grandpa usually travels with my family over holiday breaks. Some of my favorite memories are our travels together. (Photo provided by Peyton Promubol)

We hop into my dad’s old gray Honda Civic that he kept for my grandpa to drive, and we head towards Target. My grandpa driving gave me ages to think about what I wanted. I could have walked to Target before he arrived by car.

My decision was a hairbrush. I wasn’t sure what color, style or type of bristles I wanted, but I was positive that I wanted a hairbrush. My current hairbrush was old, so it was time for a replacement.

Once in Target, I made a beeline to the hair tools and products on the right. No need for a basket. I’m only here for one thing.

The fluorescent white lights that seem to be in every retail store shined down on me. My grandpa is by my side. I know because of his distinct smell: the smell of baby powder. It accompanied him wherever he went.

A small bin in the beauty section caught my eye, filled with various mini versions of shampoo, face washes and an assortment of scents of lotions that gave me a headache. Still intrigued, I peered into the bin and discovered a bunch of small ball-like things. Turning one on, it came to life, massaging my hand with a soft rhythm.

“It feels good,” I thought, so I held onto it.

Approaching the hairbrush aisle, I looked at all the different hair brushes. My grandpa watched me, indifferent to whichever brush I chose, as I examined them. One brush in particular caught my eye. It was different from the others. It was bigger and had hints of gold on the handle. I picked out a rectangular shaped maroon brush.

“That’s the one you want?” he asked me.

“Yeah, I like this one.”

We don’t talk a lot when we’re out together. But we don’t need to. We understand each other and find comfort in each other’s presence.

Stepping outside into the parking lot, it felt like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders as I took in the heat and humid air of Houston. I smiled the whole ride home.

It sounds silly that I thought that the hairbrush would magically untangle my problems and the massager would massage away my stress of starting middle school. But I realized that, maybe all I needed to destress was to spend time with my grandpa.

I still don’t know why this Target trip was so memorable for me. I have so many fun memories with my grandpa, so why was this afternoon such an unforgettable memory for me?

I left Target that day with more than just a hairbrush and a massager. I left with a newfound hope that maybe, middle school wouldn’t be so bad after all if my grandpa was by my side.

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