Today in My History
Funnies Aren't Funny Anymore
"Bars and Measures"
Books Read in 2015
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Letter from Mercy
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
29 August 2015
When I got together with my old grammar school friends recently, we reminisced about various classes and teachers. We tried to remember what it was like when we started school for the first time. My starting kindergarten was a bit different from the others because I started late. My friend, Stephen, who lived in our neighborhood, was born in September, so he made the cut off age, but my February birthday required that I could not start until the next year.
But with Stephen off at school, I was bereft that there was nobody to play with and so my mother talked with the school and they permitted me to go into kindergarten, on condition that I would repeat kindergarten the next year. But ultimately I guess I colored so well they decided to pass me through to first grade after all.
In retrospect, I wonder if my life would have been any different if I had been in an age-appropriate class all along. I know there were several points in my life, especially around puberty, were I was ridiculed because I was not developing as quickly as the others and it was an emotionally difficult time.
But I remember that first day of kindergarten, if not anything else about the year. I remember that school was already in session when my mother delivered me to Sister Mary St. Patrice, who complimented me on my log curls, said goodbye to my mother and shut the door. I remember there was a big playhouse just inside the door, but nothing else. I can't remember a single other thing about that kindergarten year!
I grew up in the days when we did not feel it necessary to record every moment of our lives, so there are no "first day at school" pictures of Karen or me. But I always took first day of school pictures of our kids for many years.
By the time this picture was taken, they were all nicely settled into the school routine, but I remember some first days were not that happy. Paul never did adjust to nursery school and cried all the time he was there, but Tom couldn't wait to go, so the teacher and I decided to take Paul out and put Tom in. That gave Paul more Mom and Me time at home (David was a baby) and Tom loved nursery school.
It was less successful when Tom started kindergarten and had lots of separation anxiety. He cried so pitifully when I left him that the crossing guard told me he'd watch out for him and when I walked up to pick him up, he would report how long Tom had cried after I left. By the end of the first week it was no longer a problem.
We always lived close to the schools our kids attended and they could walk or ride their bikes, but I still can't believe what we let Jeri do for a year when she was in first grade. We had switched her from the nearby public school to the Catholic school. It was several blocks up Park Blvd from our house in Oakland and we actually put her on a public bus each morning and let her ride up to school. The bus driver watched out for her and she was there in just a short time, but today we would probably be arrested for child endangerment. We'd be arrested even for letting our kids walk the 3 blocks from our house to grammar school unsupervised here in Davis. How times have changed.
All over the country, parents are lining their kids up for "first day of school" pictures this week as the adventure begins for another year.
I kind of miss those days.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #5632