I have few and far memories from my preschool years, but I do have recollections of pudding painting, naptime, and show and tell. My preschool teacher's name was Mrs. August, who's daughter I remain friends with still today. She was a sweetheart, and I DO remember loving morning preschool at St. Mark's preschool.
Fast forward two years to kindergarten. One of my fondest memories of kindergarten occurred one day when we were late for school. I don't remember it happening OFTEN, but as a mother myself, I understand how we may have been running a bit tardy here and there. Well, on this particular morning my kindergarten teacher Sister Rose apparently decided that I had been late a couple of times too many because she REALLY laid into me. I remember crying. Little did this nun know, but my mom was right behind me. And you all know Mama Bears when their cubs are wrongfully being attacked, right? Mama Bear was NOT having it. My mom let that silly old nun in a habit know that the blame was to be placed not on me, but her.
Now, Sister Rose has passed on, but I can still feel the protectiveness that I felt that day. So while that memory is not a happy one, the memory still holds a special place in my heart.
Yet another memory comes to mind of kindergarten. This one, from the Christmas pageant, in which the kindergartners played the angels in the nativity. I remember getting all dressed up in white, and then Mom adding that silver, glittering, ironic halo. Just another mere glimpse of times long ago.
The things that come to me from my past just come in glimpses. But it is funny to think back on them, because they seem to be from a completely different lifetime. I feel as though reincarnated (if I believed in that sort of thing). My first life: my preschool years consist of memories of my grandmother rocking me in the wooden rocker that PROBABLY still sits in the same spot in her bedroom. Glimpse...Plucking locust shells from the tree in my grandmother's yard. Flash...the sounds of the bug zapper that seemed to hang in the thick Indiana humidity...flash to picnics at the creek with Mom and little brother...flash...looking at Grandma's collection of wheat pennies...Marshmallow circus peanuts from Aunt Ev (my Evelyn's namesake) ...Glimpse...Peanut butter toast with Grandpa with me in one of his old, white V-neck tees. Flash...Grandma and I watching Plinko on The Price is Right.
It's like listening to a radio station that is coming in and out of range.....CSSHHHH...memory....CSHHHH...another random piece of long ago remembered. Then, my second life occurred in middle school. Memories of my first "monthly visit" (came at my end of the softball season SWIM PARTY. I was dramatic and told my mother, "I WISH I WERE A BOY!"), first kiss (chaste and a little slobbery), and the death of my grandpa (I hit a home run for him while hospice prepared him for his death. He loved coming to my games.) Third life: high school. Ugh. More on THAT later. College was my fourth life. That was a reckless, carefree (or careLESS, rather) life. Fifth life was when we were just a family of three. That life ended one year ago when I entered into this life I am in now. Sixth life, blissfully married wife of five years, mother of two astoundingly amazing girls.
My mother readied me for this life (and all the others too) in that dark kindergarten hall some twenty years prior to when I would have to put those skills to use.
The one thing that I recall and that ISN'T just a mere glimpse is this: No one messes with Mama.
Not even a nun.