I'm often amazed (I amaze easily) at how different things can trigger our memories. Take chestnuts, for instance. Every fall when I'm going for my walks, there are certain paths that have me pushing the stroller over sidewalks made bumpy for the many chestnuts that litter them
But I don't mind. For with the bumps and the chestnuts come memories of the bus stop on the corner of First and Woodland.
The boys would fight with them, of course - and probably some girls too, although my memory is vague on that score.
The bus stop was a block away from home, just across the street from Pat's Market where I'd run with my pennies, or with my parent's dollars to purchase their cigarettes. I rode the bus in kindergarten as it made its way across town to Morrison Elementary, then in first and second grade I walked the six blocks to Charles Briggs Elementary, then back to busing to Morrison for grades 3-5.
While times were a bit more carefree back in those early 70's (I marvel to think I walked six blocks to school, alone, as a first grader - when I hold my third grader's hand to the school I can see now from my front porch) there were, of course, concerns.
I remember that very first day that my mom walked me to the bus stop - and without having taken any personal history or interviews of the other kids that stood there also - she threw me into the clutches care of the older, and best friends, (they must have been 4th or 5th graders - so old they were) Englund and Blondo girls. I won't mention their first names, for they might find this then and think me, perhaps, ungrateful. Perhaps I am.
They took their job very (with air quotes) seriously. Each day when I got to the bus stop, they - my mother nominated personal caretakers - controlled me. All my mom had asked them to do was to make sure I got off the bus okay and make sure I got to my class. I'm sure my mother just meant the first day. They, however, decided it meant every day. Note to mothers: don't let fifth graders be in charge of your kindergartners. It goes to their heads.
To the back of the bus they'd march me - and sit me down, snuggled between them, on that last seat. And I wasn't to move. Or talk. Or misbehave in any manner.
I'm sure it's the reason the hair on the back of my neck stands up, even now, when someone insists I need help. And I'm sure it's the reason I enjoyed every bit of walking to school all alone as a first and second grader - free from their care, free to roam, free to chase that cute Leon all the way home.
Back at the bus stop in third grade - my caretakers having moved on to the big middle school - I have memories of standing in the cold, of sitting on the red brick wall, making plans, making friends, growing up.
mmmmm. the good ol' days.
Get it Stamped! sneak peek. 7 days away!
Monday sick count:
Allan woke up without a fever, and went to school - but I have a bad feeling that I'll be called to pick him up today. He was sick yesterday
Wendy is still sick: day 6. she nearly blacked out on me this morning, but was able to warn me so I caught her just in time. eta: an 11am email to school to find out if I can get Wendy's schoolwork told me that there are 87 kids absent so far today.
Brian, just woke up, and announced that his legs hurt, his feet hurt and his skin hurts
Mark is still sleeping
the hubby went to work sick
I'm feeling, so far, just peachy. someone has to run this ship.