Thursday, August 27, 2009

Everything Hurts

I can't move. I tried to climb the stairs to change into my running clothes, but my body was fighting back. Why do I always forget how young a six-year-old is? First graders are wonderful and funny and the first day of school is absolutely exhausting.

My favorite quotes from today:

"Will you read us another book?"

"I used to be a black belt, but it got lost."

"I like your toenails."

"I loved everything today, especially recess and lunch and P.E.."

"There is no video arcade at Niagara Falls."

"Can I call my mom?"

"I like it here."

"My cousin goes here. Can I go find her?"

"You have lots of pencils here."

So...I'm off to change my toenail polish, sharpen my pencils, and try to come up with some lessons that are more interesting than recess and lunch and I can go back and do it all again tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You CAN Go Home Again

The building was different. It was just a few feet from the one I remembered, but it was still the Auburn Public Library and it was where I got my first library card.

You had to be able to write your full name, first and last, to get that coveted library card. And you had to be six. I can remember standing in front of the children's librarian's desk; I can even remember exactly what the form looked like. And then I got it. I listened dutifully to the rules-of-the-card as Mrs. Barnhardt slowly handed it to me.

And last Tuesday, I was back at that library with my first published book, ready to share Also Known as Harper with the teen writing group. Or so I thought.

As I was walking in, a woman behind me had her hands full and dropped one of her books. I pointed her out to my husband. "Let's go help her." And when the woman looked up, it was someone I hadn't seen since I was in high school. An old neighbor and friend of my mom's. I thought running into her was just a coincidence as my mom passed away over ten years ago.

...Until all the other people started walking in. The first woman stood very still and smiled at me.

"You don't know who I am, do you?"

Let me just say, I am not a crybaby. It takes a lot to get my tears flowing. But it was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Kelly.

And then came my third grade teacher, Mrs. Henderson. And the principal of my old elementary school, Mr. Kuhlman. And my junior high English teacher, Miss Olsson. And another teacher, Miss Mielke, and a high school teacher and more friends of my mother's.

"I tried to get ahold of your sixth grade teacher, but she must be out of town," Mr. Kuhlman said.

So I read from my book. I read to the people who had taught me how to read and how to write. It doesn't get any better than that.

There's more, but I must save it for another blog.
Don't pay any attention to the old saying, because you definitely can go home again.