Thursday, June 17, 2010

Record your Life...My vague memories of being in preschool and kindergarten.

Is it strange that when I think of preschool/kindergarten all I remember are boys? I don't remember a lot of those days but I do remember the boys. I've always had more male friends than female friends and it looks like that started as far back as when I was just five-years-old.

My only memory of preschool is Tom jumping out of the swing during play time and breaking his arms. Yes - that is plural. He broke both of his arms in that one jump. Now I'm sure he had jumped plenty of times from the swings at his house (where I spent some time in kindergarten playing, so I know he had swings) but for some reason when he look that leap on that particular day he landed just right and broke them both. I don't remember if an ambulance came (I'm sure it did) or if he had casts (I'm sure he did) or what happened after that. I just remember that he broke both arms.

And maybe I don't so much remember the actual act of him jumping but just remember hearing the stories...but I always associate preschool and Tom together.

When it comes to kindergarten I remember two boys...Joe and Matt. Joe is still in town, we see him at church every Sunday (at the same church where we all went to preschool together) and the thing I remember from kindergarten is only a memory to Joe as well. Matt though...well, I see his family around town but not Matt.

Joe had to wear leg braces in kindergarten (I don't remember him having them in preschool...although he could have). These leg braces prevented Joe from standing up straight and walking or even bending his knees. When he walked (only short distances) his legs were spread pretty far apart and he had to kind of rotate his hips to move one leg forward and then the other.

Because of these braces and the fact that our classroom was as far away from the playground as you could be (and still be in the school) Joe had to ride in a wagon to recess. Each student was able to take turns pulling Joe to the playground and it was quite the privilege to be able to do so. There is even a picture of a few of us (myself, Joe, Cherish, Tom and maybe Ky?) on the indoor slide and Joe was right in front on the slide with his legs and braces spread out in front of him...a memory forever saved in our kindergarten yearbook.

And why don't I see Matt? He was killed in a freak accident at a pumpkin patch in the fall of our kindergarten year. He was six. Brown eyes, brown hair - just a small kid still. He and his family had gone to a pumpkin patch one weekend and back then the wagons were pulled to the pumpkin fields by horse (they are now pulled by tractor).

No one is 100% sure what happened but the wagon driver recalled seeing some bees and there was a possibility that one of the horses got stung, causing it to bolt and the wagon flipped. Several people in the wagon and a couple standing nearby were hurt but Matt...he didn't make it.

To this day, I can still go to the elementary school and show you which tree we planted in Matt's memory that next spring. This all happened many years ago so that tree is now a huge shade tree that is a great place to sit under and remember and reminisce. I don't think of Matt nearly as much as I used to. I'll pass the school and see the tree and think of him or will see his younger sister (born after he was gone) and will remember. But he does cross my mind every so often and especially when I remember my kindergarten year.

Matt, Joe and Tom are a very delicate part of my early memories...

Click here to read why I love (and hate) my name.


  1. Beautiful and sad memories. It sounds like you grew up in the same kind of small town as I did. The kids I went to pre-school with were the same ones I graduated high school with! Thanks for the stories. I like the picture in my mind's eye of that memory tree.

  2. How sad to lose a friend at such a young age! I like the tree though, that is such a good way for children to remember a friend, and now to be able to go and sit and enjoy the shade.
    My cousin who was 19 days younger then I was died when we were 5 1/2 so I understand. Its confusing and very sad when you are so young.
    Thanks for sharing!