Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten--A Remeberance

Ethan began his formal school career yesterday.

Kindergarten--one of those rites of passage where kids begin the process of changing from being "ours" into being "themselves." In a way it is sad to lose them that way, but it is something that we must do as part of launching our children tinto the world.

I remember brief glimpses of kindergarten.

It was an old almost three-story green-trimmed white building stucco looking building. Kindergarten was up the first set of stairs on the right. 1st grade was on the left up those same stairs and second and third grade was on the top floor--I don't remember the basement very well. The school only had grades K through 3. When I was in second grade, we moved to the new school in Danby which still stands and was a true elementary school of its day (OK, it was like 1962). I attended it through 6th grade before heading off to the big city of Ithaca for junior high school.

They tore down the old school during the late 60's and built the new town fire station on the site. The building, as I remember it, had been vacant for all of those intervening years.

I was an old four-year old when I was dropped off that first day of kindergarten, my birthday being in late-September. I remember a lot of confusion but I did enjoy playing with the blocks. As I recall--and I may need to correct this, Mrs White was my kindergarten teacher. And I was that square peg trying to fit into the round hole. I don't remember if I cried--but I probably did. It was really scary back then as we didn't not have pre-school programs like today to get children ready for the big school.

The classroom seemed huge. There was always something to do, like show and tell or reading time. But best of all I remember trying to build the tallest structure with the blocks. One significant event I do remember involved black construction paper. We were coloring and I thought it would be neat to use a white crayon on black paper.

That didn't work out as well in real life as I had envisioned it in my head.

I loved riding the bus--but couldn't get down the idea that I had to wait for the driver to signal me across the road. In those days, for some reason, they let me off and picked me up on the wrong side of the road even though the bus had to pass the house and return back by. I think I finally got it right as the school year was ending. My bus used to go all over Danby--I seem to remember the short 10 minute ride by car to the school taking almost an hour by bus.

And so as Ethan did his first day in Kindergarten--all of these memories came streaming back from the deep recesses of my mind. We went out to dinner last night with Ethan and his family to mark the occasion. In typical Ethan fashion, he was pretty closed mouthed about the day.

I even think I can remember the smell of the classroom--I wonder what memories he will have of that first day of "school?"

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