I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.
I had the best teacher for 1st grade. Her name was Mrs. Lucas and she had bright red hair (at least I think she did - that’s how I remember her anyway). I don’t know how old she was, but she seemed like a grandma to me. A grandma with bright red hair.
At some point during the year, Mrs. Lucas got a new kitten. She knew that I loved kittens (well, really, who didn’t in 1st grade?) and she invited me to her house to meet her new kitten and swim in her pool.
I felt so special that my teacher asked ME to visit her home. I remember I wore a leather-ish skirt and a white top with matching leather strings at the neck. I swam in her pool and met her adorable black and orange calico kitten. I think there may have even been ice cream involved. Perhaps she invited all the kids to her house - I’ll never know – but I’ve carried that feeling of being special all these years. What an amazing gift!
Sometime around 1st grade, I found another gift – my best friend. My mom and I had just moved to our new house. It was about a half hour out of town, but I was still going to school in town, so didn’t know any kids in the neighborhood. One day I was out in our front yard playing by myself when I heard someone yell, “Hey, kid!” (or was it, “Hey, girl”?) I looked up the street and saw two girls playing in a yard.
Not being overly skilled in the friend-making department, I knew I’d need some sort of peace-offering, so I ran into the house to get some Oreos (my very favorite cookie!) to share. By the time I got back out, the girls were gone. Foiled!
I can’t remember what happened after that or how I actually did meet those girls, but one of them became my best childhood friend and we both remember that first non-meeting and laugh. We spent a lot of time running back and forth between each others houses, playing in the woods, and writing marathon letters when we were separated over the summers and it all started in 1st grade.