Classes are starting back for three of our grandkids and one is starting school for the first time. I am SO proud of them! They are such great kids with such sweet hearts and with such loving parents! It got me to remembering what it was like for me. A few thoughts and memories:
- I went to Avocado Elementary in Homestead, Florida and can name all my teachers. I was completely confused when my 2nd grade teacher changed her name right in the middle of the year and erased her old name and put up her new one. I didn’t think that was necessary just because she got married.
- I remember the smell of new textbooks.
- I recall the fear of meeting a new teacher – or worse – a new bully. I remember being OK when they smiled at me.
- I remember hoping my new teacher wouldn’t use the ruler for something besides measuring a line out on the blackboard. I think now rulers stay in the drawers most of the time.
- I remember my shyness, embarrassment and fear wondering with terror if anyone would say something about my very pronounced harelip scar. I had several surgeries before 1st grade, but the plastic surgeons weren’t finished with me yet. It took several more to get my upper lip to look like it does today. (I still get the occasional question but it is usually a fellow “harelipper” or doctor who admires the work of the surgeon). The doctors said I had a “miraculous healing” about six weeks before I was born when God did my first surgery and transformed what was a complete open cleft palate into a manageable one. It didn’t help when my very sweet second grade teacher noticed my scar for the first time while I was at the blackboard and said in front of the class, “What happened to your lip?” I think she just thought I’d fallen or busted it on the playground. I remember her being as embarrassed as me when I told her.
- I recall looking forward to seeing my TRUE friends that never cared about things like a harelip as long as I liked to play tackle football on the playground or marbles in the sandy soil around our house.
- Thinking back, second grade was the first class I still remember pretty vividly. 1st grade and is a blur except for the time when I had to write “I love Susan” 100 times on the blackboard. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Susan and the rest of the kids hadn’t been made to watch. She and I were a “couple” at the Maypole party (do they still do those?) and I had major crush on her. My teacher saw me write Susan’s initials on my desk and decided to let the class know this was NOT the place for fun and daydreaming – especially when it came to romance.
- I guess being at blackboards didn’t generate my fondest memories. Maybe that’s why I spent 25 years in Toastmasters trying to overcome my panic standing in front of a group!
- I had two aunts who never married and lived together as sisters all their lives. I remember most Aunt Peg who visited me during those years and who taught school all her life. She LOVED me so much and I know she loved her “kids” more than anything. I remember wishing she was my teacher.
- All in all, thank you to all my teachers for investing in me and who I am sure spent years preparing to teach and were completely in love with their kids too!
Lots more memories…maybe I’ll write some more of them down some day. Today I’ll be praying for a great first day for three special people I love – and their Mommy’s and Daddy’s and Papa’s and PooPah’s and Nana’s and Grammy’s and Mimi’s who will be praying too!