This is a special memory from my own childhood.
I will never forget my first day of kindergarten. I had been so excited to start school. Back then, you had to be five by December 1st in order to start. I was 16 days late. Another reason I hated my birthday! Later when I was in high school, I would find it to my advantage that I was older than almost everyone else in my class was! I turned 16 before any of them and immediately got my driver’s license. Freedom!
But back to Kindergarten, after all of the waiting the time finally came. I would be in the afternoon class and I would have two kindergarten teachers! Mrs. P, who lived down the street from me and who had been the kindergarten teachers for many years was retiring. She would spend our school year teaching us and training Mrs. G who would be the new kindergarten teacher.
The first day came and thanks to my mother, I was late. Punctuality was something she was never good at, it wasn’t important to her. She was always late for everything. I can tell you from that day forward punctuality became very important to me.
I don’t know why she drove me to school the first day. It was only .4 of a mile straight down our street and I would walk most days after that. That first day she drove and when we got there, she pulled up in front of the school to drop me off! I was scared to death. I knew where my classroom was, it was the first one on the right at the top of the stairs but I was still scared. To me those stairs were at least 100 feet high and at an extreme angle. Besides, our kindergarten classroom was in the high school building filled with intimidating tall people! I don’t know how I made it to the top and in the door but I did. Mrs. P was very nice and seemed to know I was struggling.
While my first day at school got off to a very difficult start, it was a wonderful year. I loved kindergarten and I loved both of my teachers. I loved the big round tables that we sat at in groups of 6 or 8 and I loved learning to read and to write. I loved the huge playground with the very tall swings and teeter tooters. Of course, one of the best parts was our afternoon naps. Each of us had a little rug tucked away in its cubbyhole that we laid out and rested on for 20 minutes followed up by a carton of milk. With no little sister to bother me, I was loving nap time! I don’t think kindergartners take naps in the classroom anymore. Things were different; none of us had been to preschool for a couple of years! It was our first time away from home and a big adjustment.
The most important lesson learned in kindergarten:
Don’t be Late!