Kindergarten

teddy

Prompt: Write everything you can remember about Kindergarten.

On my first day of Kindergarten I wore a denim jumper over a tie-dyed shirt, haircut courtesy of my father’s office scissors. In my Lisa Frank backpack, I probably took a notebook and my waffle-knit teddy, maybe a hair claw or two. The summer before school began, My mom had asked me if I wanted to start Kindergarten at what would be my elementary school come first grade, or if I wanted to stay on at the Christian daycare I’d gone to since I was a baby bean. I was happy at the daycare and had two good friends, Mary and Andrew, so I knew going back for another year ought to be a good choice. I was comfortable being in my known environment, and it was a good environment in which to be.

So in I walked that first day in my jelly sandals, probably translucent pink and glittery, up to the second floor of the daycare of Trinity Church on the edge of downtown, Lincoln, Nebraska. The daycare was newer than the old, traditional-looking Methodist church it was attached to. Up on the second floor, there were frameless windows spanning the length of one side of the Kindergarten hallway. They were the kind that if you look close, the big panels of green glass seem to be glued together with a squishy gray adhesive, that you can poke with your fingernail then watch the crescent mark fade. (Like you do.)

Only two bad memories stand out from Kindergarten: the time a girl at recess said my shoes were stupid and when a kid threatened to break out all the windows with the baseball bat he brought for show and tell. He was also the kid who would describe in detail to the other children all the rated R movies his parents let him watch, spreading nightmares like the lice.

But the food was good and so were the snacks. I had outgrown afternoon naps by this age and so when the time came around each day for all children to sleep, I’d lay on my cot and stare at my hair claw or the face of my bear. I remember picking at my little bear’s embroidered eyes. They were just balls of thread all knotted together and I think I wanted to see if I could pick them off, but they were sturdy little boogers. On they stayed and my bear’s face remains intact, to this very day I believe.

What are your favorite memories of Kindergarten?

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