Amid the excitement, the world reeled with rumors about North Korea. The politics of the day were of health care bills, taxes, and the NFL. News about disasters was everywhere--- Hurricane Harvey and Irma, earthquakes in Mexico, and the Puerto Rico devastation. But what is a person to do when the world seems to be falling apart? We attended the Downtown Business Association’s bash.
And on that grand night, I ran into a beautiful woman whose dark brown eyes looked familiar. Then I recognized her. Fifty years before, she had been an adorable, shy little girl in my Kindergarten-Readiness class. Fifty years ago! I had never taught kindergarten children or had training to teach that age group. It was a last minute job for me and one the school board desperately needed to fill. I’d just moved to the area and was looking for a teaching job. The position was given to me on a contingency basis…. I was to oversee the class with the help of two experienced first grade teachers, who would mentor me.
One of their tasks was to evaluate whether the youngsters might be ready to enter first grade. I had little understanding of what level of learning was needed for that transition, but those two teachers knew. Each had taught for years. At the end of the year, they evaluated each child in my class---- it was the first Readiness/Kindergarten class established in the school district-- and they decided which children were “ready” to move on into first grade. They recommended two youngsters, the youngest in the classs, be kept back for another year—one a boy who later grew up to be a fine banker and the other this woman who became a very successful business woman and real estate agent. I loved and cared about those children—all of them. What I learned that year was that I found it immensely satisfying to teach kindergarten! I suppose I learned more than they did. After the year was over, a position opened up in a nearby college. I moved into my teaching field, but I never forgot my kindergarten children.
At the summer party, I looked at the beautiful woman and saw the darling little girl in my class. I did a double take. We hugged. Then she said, “You held me back!” Her words pierced my sensibilities. Fifty years after the fact! What do we know about feelings? On that beautiful night, that hot, sticky summer night, with the music blaring down the street and the auction going full force, she and I both were startled by remembrances. Then I loved her even more, when she added, “I don’t hold it against you,” she said. “I have children of my own, I know how it is. Some mature faster than others. I know.”