Yesterday morning I watched the neighborhood moms marching their kids to school. There were legions of them, both moms and kids. The elementary school is located just west of a busy intersection. So I understand why the moms walk their younger kids to school. But I sometimes wonder how the older ones feel about that.
My mother walked me to school only once, on my first day at kindergarten back in the Early Jurassic Period.
My memory of that day has blurred over the years. I know that I looked forward to going to school. However, even at the age of five, I was quite independent and liked being able to roam the neighborhood, within boundaries of course. I must have suspected that I would have to give up some of my freedom for a few hours a day.
I will never forget sitting in that kindergarten classroom surrounded by squeaky clean kids who were dressed to the nines. Some of my new classmates looked bemused; several of them wept quietly. Others were sobbing as though they thought the first day of school was the end of the world.
In hindsight, I guess it really was the end of our world as we knew it.
But there I was, sitting at my pint-sized desk, squeaky clean and dressed to the nines. I probably was bored out of my mind and eager for my education to begin. Or maybe I was plotting my escape.
I remember that I was totally mystified by the kids who ran sobbing to their moms standing at the back of the room. I’m pretty sure some of those moms were sobbing, too. My mother wasn’t one of them. I know Mom missed my being around after I started school, but it’s not like I was her only child. I had two brothers, one of them less than a year old.
I thought, What the heck is wrong with these kids? I’ve waited five years to get away from home.