Preschool, 1977

Were you one of those children who loved starting school with the “big kids”, or were you an independent spirit like me?

#wedon’tneednoeducation #susanstrasser #amwriting #susanstrasserblog

Mom or Dad didn’t talk to me about going to preschool. Nor did my brother, sisters, and neighborhood friends…who generally taught me everything I knew by the time I was four years old.

Being an overly sensitive type who overwhelmed easily, a little pep talk to prepare me for what was coming might have helped me with my transition into institutionalized life. As an adult, I know enough about myself now that my introverted nature prefers a warning for anything out of my comfort zone. When I was a kid, I was horribly afraid of trying new things. For example, I was afraid to try to learn how to ride a bike, even the littlest bike we had in the shed, even though I could straddle it easily… even with my brother or Dad walking and jogging right behind me, holding onto the back of my seat so I wouldn’t fall.

“I gotcha, I gotcha, pedal!” they’d shout.

 Or was it really okay, I feared, to take the candy handed to me by Santa himself in a Christmas parade?

 In fall 1977, my weekday mornings were now taken up with preschool at the Prince George’s County Recreation Center: a light brown, large brick building, with trees around it as you walked up to it from the parking lot, and I truly asked myself, What was going on?

 I did not like this loud and confusing place. We could only work and play when they told us we could. I knew my alphabet and numbers already and they liked to drill us on those. It was boring. We had something called a schedule. And Ms. Wesson had a bell. Boy, did she like to ring that thing every five minutes!

Mom and I were the last ones to leave the house in the morning, around 8:00. Just the two of us. The early September routine went like this: when my Kimba the White Lion cartoon ended, I turned off the TV and finished getting ready. I dreaded the credits of my show rolling across the screen. Mom met me by the coat closet, which was accessed by closing the front door. She stood there, and put her trench coat on or her purse over her shoulder or both. Then she grabbed my red Snoopy jacket and held it out to me.

By late September, the daily weekday morning face-offs began.

‘Here,” she said, holding it out.  

She stood there in our little 3’x5’ foyer, her brown, thick, wavy, short hair in place, her pale olive-green trench coat open so that I could see her orange, red, and white cardigan over her cream blouse and dark brown slacks. Her hazel eyes surveyed my strong willingness. My Mom in another nice, new outfit meant that we were not staying home again today. Where were her faded blue jeans or old casual slacks… the chocolate brown or navy ones with the nubs on them? Or better yet, the shorts she wore all summer?

What had happened to summer???

To be continued…

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s