As I write, it’s the first day of school in our community. Do you ever forget how you felt on your own first days of school?
I had great parents, but I am still a little irritated about a bit of a misunderstanding on my first day of kindergarten.
It was a private kindergarten. Back then, the school had no real need and even less desire to pick up kids at hospital neonatal units. But Mom and Dad thought kindergarten would be good for me. They didn’t have any extra money lying around, so they must’ve thought this was important. I think they were right.
To my dying day, though, I’ll swear they told me that we were going to visit the kindergarten, but I didn’t have to stay that day unless I wanted to.
We went. It seemed fine. But I decided that, all things considered, I had better things to do. I would, of course, consider the kindergarten option as I had time and opportunity, but, for the present, I figured I’d just go home and play with my little brother, thank you very much.
You see the train coming, don’t you? Yes, my parents left me right there on the tracks. I mean, at the kindergarten. I remember some tears on both sides.
I also remember, later, growing seedlings in cardboard milk cartons, coloring pictures, molding clay, etc. Months later, I graduated with honors.
Honestly, I don’t know how I ranked in the class. We didn’t learn the alphabet in kindergarten then, and I don’t remember any algebra. (Not really any from high school, either. I pretty much sang my way through secondary school, but that’s another story.)
I do remember my sweet kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Marvine Francis. And she remembers me! I was thrilled to get a note from her just a few years ago. She must’ve started teaching when she was 12.
Mrs. Francis got me off to a great start and then promoted me up to Mr. Birchfield and Mrs. Carmody at Amarillo’s San Jacinto Elementary School the next fall. They, too, were amazing. You’d have to work hard to find parents who loved kids more than my earliest teachers did. Ah, great teachers have always been one of God’s very finest blessings!
My wife and I talked to our three school-age granddaughters yesterday. Two were pretty excited; one, about half-excited. I was always more than halfway like her not-so-excited half. I always deeply mourned the loss of summer. It felt like my parole was being revoked.
One of our sweet gals is officially starting kindergarten. I remember when her daddy started. My wife took him to his first day of school. I couldn’t have done it. As she hugged him and left him at the classroom in the school just down the street from our house, he looked up and said, “Mama, something’s wrong with my eyes.”
No, something was right with his eyes. And hers. And mine, too. Pure tears are good for eyes. I bet his are a little moist this morning. Mine are. Again.
You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!
Copyright 2014 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.