* An email from a friend reminded me of how rich this daycare was with memories. No kidding, I could write a book just on this experience alone. Enjoy this small retrospective for now….
By the time I was 5 years old and integrated into Kindergarten I was used to the routine of my life. At 5:30 am I would hear Oliver walk past my room into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and leave for work shortly after. At 6:00 am my dad would rouse me out of bed for breakfast. While I was eating and making sure my furry shepherd mix companion Karma was getting some under the table scraps as well, my dad would be in my room picking out an outfit for me (no dresses though! I was all pants being the follower of Allegra that I was) and making my bed. Did I mention I was a Princess? By 7:00 am my dad was dropping me off at Jackie’s and off to work.
Arriving at Jackie’s was always an event. Who was there? Was she in a good mood? Were we watching television or was it a music day? Were we allowed outside? Can we go down to the play ground at the school? I arrived always looking for one of my friends: Allegra, Helen, Farah, Sam, Lance or Lawrence. I was never particularly fond of Jackie’s kids. Matt was closer to my age being 3 years older than me, but something was off about him and I could sense that at a young age. He also seemed obsessed with Allegra’s older sister Arianna. While I wanted to be included with her kids because Jackie watched me over the summer and when Oliver and my dad went on vacation, I just did not want to be too close. Matt would later be found guilty of being inappropriate with young girls and is currently serving time in prison for this. Yes, even as a child I listened to my intuition and no he never touched me or anyone else I knew of at daycare.
Typically, Allegra and Arianna were late and this was due to their mom. Her clock is not like other people’s clocks by which I mean hers is always about 10 – 20 minutes behind. So, I would find Helen or Farah and off we would go. Helen and Farah were girly. They liked flowers, holding hands and all things dainty. They were a good balance from Allegra and Helen lived right down the street from me so she was available even after daycare. With these two friends we became a three-some and I learned that flowers in the hair were pretty, you could suck honey out of a certain blue flower, chew on wild mint to make your breath smell different and that being affectionate with your friends is a wonderful bond. All of us had bright blue oceans in our eyes but I had white gold hair, Helen had spun wheat and Farah’s hair was the prettiest obsidian hair I had ever seen. We were totally Charlie’s Angels and laughing was our specialty.
Lance was a child who did not respond to punishment of any kind. He was a “bad boy” even at the age of 4. A blond kid with glasses who spoke like a true sailor. It was not uncommon to find him in the bathroom crying from the soap that was still burning his mouth courteous of Jackie. Nonetheless, “no” meant go at full speed and I have never seen someone in constant trouble. Lawrence was his older brother and while he had the same face he was taller with light brown hair. He was smarter, still devious and slightly more attractive. He had an air of creativity around him all the time, but unfortunately it was directed at how best to annoy Jackie. It was Lawrence that came up with the idea one summer to make water balloons out of plastic bags with their discarded ties left on the campus from summer camp lunchtime. It was Lawrence who thought to hide up on the hill with these bags and throw them at unsuspecting vehicles trying to make their way around an unforgiving steep curve on the hill to Jackie’s house. And it was Lawrence who taught Lance how to curse with emphasis. When we were beckoned back to Jackie’s because she somehow knew what were were doing all of the time if it involved trouble, it was Lawrence who never seemed to get punished because he would arrive separately from our guilty group. Lawrence was the small devil that sits on your shoulder telling you it is okay to commit this one small infraction.
Sam was the beautifully innocent child that everyone wanted to be around. After hormones invaded my body in junior high school, he would become the one boy who was my age that I truly thought I loved. At daycare it was no different only we were lacking the hormones. Everyone wanted to play with this kid, wanted him on his team or just wanted to be around him. He was shy but social. He was never too dominating and yet he was a gifted athlete even at a young age. If he was at Jackie’s, I was next to him and because he was such a good child he never pushed anyone away. I realize now, of course, that while I thought I was a special friend to him (both Allegra and I were convinced we were his favorite playmates) he was in actuality just a really gentle soul. We were no more special to him than anyone else, but he had that affect on people. Everyone thought you were his best friend. It is a wonder he did not get into politics or some profession assisting people. I am still convinced he has yet to locate his calling.
More to come………..