The Stress of Kindergarten

kindergartenI remember several childhood grade school memories, so, where to start?

The first one I recall was I was in kindergarten, it was Armistice Day, and of course, I had no idea what that meant.  I went to Wilson School and had just recently moved to the north end of town.  This meant I had to take a bus from school to home. 

Well, on this particular day, I was not aware that the buses were not running due to the fact that it was a holiday.  So, while waiting for the bus, cannons went off scaring the shit out of me.  I, having heard stories of WWII, was sure we were being bombed.  I ran back to school, screaming no doubt.  I ram down a long flight of stairs.  I heard voices, could smell cooking, and thought someone lived there and could help me.   The teachers that were down there were aware of my distress and called my mom.  A male teacher volunteered to drive me home.  Since I was not supposed to go anywhere with strangers this was another major concern.  To my relief, I made it home safe and would never forget this traumatizing event.  

It seems my year in Kindergarten was my most challenging year.  At that time we lived on Maple Avenue, just a couple of blocks from the school.  When I would walk to school and back home a couple of kids would wait for me and try to block me from going either to school or home.  I was terrified, must have mentioned this to my mom, and she had the teacher walk me past these kids.  Since my mom had a new baby at home, this teacher took over and this ended the problem.

Another situation was we had just moved from the Maple Avenue address to the north end of town.  I now had to ride the city bus and was told that I should get off when my mom was standing on a certain corner by the athletic field.   Mom had a young child to watch over who would be napping at that time. She would walk the block and a half to the designated corner all the while listening in case my little sister hollered for her. Well, after she was late for the second time the bus just kept going.  This resulted in me not getting off the bus and resulted in my third trip around the city.  A lady who was on the bus tried to tell the bus driver to let me off at a location unfamiliar to me, as she felt she knew me. I was traumatized but knew I would never get off the bus until I saw my mom.  Finally, she was there, and to say I was relieved was an understatement.

How about goiter pills?  These were passed out, I believe, on a monthly basis.  They were so gross.  Tasted like chocolate which I hate.  I would take mine and hide them under the radiator again in Wilson School.  To this day I can still taste those gross pills, but still don’t have a goiter.

Being a child can be traumatizing as things are not always understood.  I to this day still feel the panic of those days and can certainly empathize with children.  Being a child is not as easy as one would think. 

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