Monday, June 1, 2009

How It All Began


Starting school was a Big Stinking Deal to Baby Betty.  For six years I had waited at home and watched as my four older sisters had been scooped up by the school bus in the morning and had been spit out by the same bus in the afternoon.  They came home looking different, smelling different,  their arms full of  new, exciting books and worksheets.  Well, I could hardly wait to get off the farm and get in on the action.  

I am not sure why my parents didn't send me to kindergarten.  When I ask the question, I never seem to get a direct answer.  It's one of those mysteries that will probably remain a mystery. All I know was I was like a rocket ship gathering up power so that when it was time for first grade, I was fairly beside myself with excitement.  For the past couple of years I had been the lookout at the window for the bus.  When it was two hills away I could see it and it was my job to alert the others.  Now, instead of just looking for the bus, I would get to board it as well.  By this time, my oldest sister had gone to college, so there would just be four of us boarding the magic vehicle.

The first day of school came and I was beyond excited.  I awoke early, and ate my first-day-of-school-extra-big breakfast before getting my special first-day-of-school dress on.  I was bouncing off the wall and ready to go.  My mom took our first-day-of-school picture.  (I finally got to be in it!)  Then, the moment came.  The bus was on its way!

OH!  Climbing up those big black stairs!  The green seats, the waxy smell, the luxuriousness of the multiple windows, each with its own latch!  My sisters scattered to separate seats and I perched myself on one just about in the middle of the bus.  My head was spinning with excitement as I sat there, the bus chugging over the rough rock roads, up and down the hills.  I thought about my new adventure, my new life, this thing called school.  I was breathing hard, my head forward, my pulse racing. I was ready, ready, ready.

About ten minutes later,  I noticed that my first-day-of-school-extra-big breakfast had started churning a bit.  The roads got rockier and more winding and the hills got steeper.  More kids got on and the bus started getting crowded.  Another ten minutes passed and soon it dawned on me that my breakfast was coming up, and it was on the expressway.  There was no time to alert anyone.   I leaned over and let it go.  There were moans and groans on the bus and I sat there, humiliated and sick, that sour taste in my mouth, my new saddle shoes with flecks of undigested bacon on them.  I shrank down and wanted to disappear.

 The bus driver pulled over the huge bus over, sighed and and got out his bucket of kitty litter.  He stood at the front of the bus and looked over all the kids. "Whose little sister is this?" he asked in a loud voice.   My middle sister was the first to make it to me.  She helped me get cleaned up as best she could and sat beside me until we reached school.  Once there, she took me into the bathroom and did more clean-up work on me before she sent me down the hall to my classroom to start my first day of my first grade.


2 comments:

Brian said...

I never went to Kindergarten, and I never got a straight answer about why not, either. I've always regretted not doing more with blocks. But I've made up for it by taking a lot of naps.

john said...

School always made me sick too!