When I traveled a few weeks ago to support my Mom during her stroke recovery, one interesting coincidence for me was that she was being treated in Charleston, SC, which was where my family lived when I was a little girl. My Dad was in the Navy and we lived on the Charleston Naval Base. I lived there from age 1 through age 5. I remember walking with my older brothers, past the Marine guards on base, to kindergarten at the parochial school across the street from the naval base.
I'm not sure why I remember this so vividly, because I only went to kindergarten for about 3 weeks. Yes, truth be told, I was a kindergarten dropout.
Here's a picture of me visiting my old kindergarten, a few weeks ago!
Many years ago, my Mom explained that she just couldn't deal with my daily tantrums - every morning when she brushed my hair to get ready for school, I would begin crying, begging not to go. My own memory is that my baby brother Ralph was a newborn, and I wanted desperately to stay home with him. Besides, my 3 year old brother Sonny was at home, why did he get to stay home but I didn't?
Back then (1964), you were not required to go to kindergarten. Mom stopped sending me and I went right into first grade, when we moved to Connecticut the next year.
I think a lot about how different my childhood was from that of the children I teach.
Staying home, alongside my mother.
Tinkering, exploring, messing about,
doing whatever I wanted to do.
Playing with my dolls, as long as I darn pleased.
Probably not following much of a schedule at all.
I bet I lingered in my pajamas each day.
Isn't this strange to think about?
How different childhood is now?