Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grandgirl starts school today

My eldest granddaughter just started 1st grade today.  Unlike her Poppy (my pet name) she has been ready for full time school for the last 6 years.  My belief is that most children today have far surpassed our generation in general intelligence and reading ability by the time they begin school.

Maybe I should just speak for myself. 

In my granddaughters case her parents (especially her mother) worked closely to teach her skills that I know I never had at this age.  We saw photos of her widely smiling and enthusiastically waiting for the bus to arrive.  We spoke with her this evening and she was so excited about her class, her teacher and school in general.

On my first day of school I ran away. 

I went to a Catholic elementary school (St. Attica’s) and there were 8 grades.  My mother hired a neighbor girl, Suzanne, who was in the 8th grade, to walk with me.  I was instructed to hold her hand. I was no baby and this was never part of my agenda so I broke away, ran fast and somehow found myself following other kids who I assumed were going to the same school.

At day’s end we were all assigned to a line that would have us walking in formation to our individual neighborhoods.  I knew Suzanne would be waiting so I jumped into the wrong group and ended up in very unfamiliar territory.

Suzanne, in tears, sat at my house with my mother until I somehow returned safely.  I had not seen her so upset since the time she was babysitting and my brother (Johnny Fangs) chased her around the house trying to bite her.

That first day had other traumas especially the dungeon-like classroom, the cold and dampness of an English castle and my first grade teacher Sister Chewbacca.
I am truly pleased that my grandgirls are being made ready for their journey through education.  Hopefully they won’t follow in the footsteps of their Poppy who, when invited anywhere, always checks between sofa cushions, car seats and glove boxes for loose change.