Preschool & Kindergarten
I don't have very many memories of my early years, but the things I do remember are very clear. My earliest memory is at 18 months saying the pledge of allegiance at an event for my daycare. I'm not sure if this is an actual memory or just something I've been reminded of my whole life, so I've created a memory. Either way, I feel like it's real. I also have a very early memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. January 28, 1986 - I was about 18 months old at this time as well. I remember sitting, watching cartoons on the tv at the daycare & the cartoons were interrupted with live footage of the explosion. We all sat & watched for several minutes. I don't remember much more than that. I feel like it's strange to have a memory before you're 2 years old, but I can remember everything about the room I was in. I guess it's the kind of thing that sticks with you. I knew it was a big deal.
I have lots of memories of my daycare. They all sort-of blend together, but I know I loved it there. The daycare I went to has now expanded & is one of the largest & best daycares in our city. They have a fairly long waiting list & have widened their services to include a full preschool. Isis will be going to this daycare next year when I finally start an official teaching position. I feel really blessed to have gone there. Some of my favorite memories from there are when they would take us to the pool & we would all have to wear our t-shirts with the logo of the daycare on them. I remember loving those t-shirts! I also remember one year they were yellow & one year they were blue. They also took the kids from daycare on an hour long plane trip & then took a bus back home so that we would all have an experience flying & wouldn't be scared. We were on the news because of this. I still think that's a pretty brilliant idea & I still remember loving it!
I also have several memories with my grandparents during this period. My paternal grandmother in particular. I know she used to watch me each week & she was always really active when playing with me. I have a very vivid memory of her setting up pillows on her floor & putting a blue blanket over them so that it was like water in a pool & then she let me jump off her coffee table into the "pool" - all because it was raining outside & I couldn't go to the real pool. She was pretty fabulous. She was also a high school math teacher & I know part of my desire to teach has been because of her example. She was known for being a really particular, well-dressed & well-coiffed woman. She never let anyone touch her hair, but I remember her letting me brush her hair & play dress-up with her clothes & her pins & jewelry. She died in 1990 when I was 5. I also remember this because it's the first time I remember crying so hard because of a loss. Not because I was mad about not getting a toy or not getting to do what I want, but because I suffered a very intense loss. I remember getting a really bad stomach ache & having to go to the doctor. I still think about her & miss her a lot sometimes. I only got 5 years with her, but it's been enough to give me memories for my entire life.
My maternal grandfather also died in 1990. I don't have quite as many memories of him because he was sick for a while. Unfortunately, I remember him with oxygen tubes in his nose sitting on the couch. I also remember watching tv with him. He was also really influential in education in my local community & I wish I had been able to spend more time with him & get to know him better. I know he would have taught me a lot about education & teaching in general. My memories of this consist of my mom's pain & loss at this point.
Although those are not all happy memories, they are the ones that stick out when I sit down & try to write about that time. It's interesting which memories last.