Thursday, February 10, 2011

Purple Grass

I have so many flashes of moments that I remember from my preschool and kindergarten years. There were a lot of life changes during that time, so what I remember revolves around those changes. When I was 4 we moved from Mexico to Canada. For a few months we lived with my Uncle and his family (my dad's brother) while we settled down. I remember having a lot of fun with my cousins (we are all close in age so we really got to play!). I remember thinking that learning English was super easy. In fact I don't even remember actually trying, it's just like it happened.

My brother and I shared a room, with bunk beds. I had the top bunk, he was after all one year younger than me! And believe it or not I would sometimes sit up in bed and pick little pieces off the ceiling and eat them. Blech! My brother and I were always really close so we did a lot together, and I protected him fiercely. Later that year, we started going to preschool a couple mornings a week. I remember I was a bit shy, but then I became friends with this little girl with brown hair who smelled like chocolate chip cookies (and I totally don't remember her name). One day at pickup time, I remember we accidentally swapped lunchboxes because we had the same one. When we got home I was so upset because I had a special little toy in there. I am pretty sure the moms rectified the situation.

And oh my, I remember I used to have this little brown puppy that I absolutely LOVED. He was just the right size and I took him everywhere. All of us kids would play hide and seek so much and I remember one of our favorite spots to hide was in the closet under the stairs. It was a dark and cold room full of plastic bags and boxes. And I remember one day I hid in there and I lost my puppy. I was so sad. I don't think I ever got him back. I don't know if he got mixed in with giveaway stuff or what, but that was the last time I held him. He was such a great puppy.

I also remember that one of my cousins' cousin used to be so mean to me, when she came to visit she used to call me "crybaby" and tease me. I told my mom about it and she suggested the next time she was mean that I offer to let her play with my doll. So I did that and from then she was super nice to me. This lesson has stuck with since, I have always been a caring person, but if someone is mean or rude to me the natural response is that I am even more nice to them. I think rudeness is just a call out for love, after all.

And then when I turned 5, I went to kindergarten. I remember singing "the lady with the alligator purse", "frere jacque", and "the wheels on the bus". And I remember colouring. One day I made a beautiful picture of flowers and trees. And the teacher told me that my grass couldn't be purple, as I had wanted. My mom was furious when she heard that. I think her viewpoint was that the time will come when children realize grass is green, but while they can imagine it another colour, let them be. I think this was the beginning of my mom's decision to homeschool us, which officially happened a few months later.

It's amazing that even sitting here and writing for these few minutes has flooded me with so many more memories from those early many little glimpses of a happy childhood. And I am left with a feeling of joy and sweet melancholy for the carefree, beautifully simple time that childhood is...

* Every Thursday for the following few weeks I will be writing about my story from Birth to High School. Please visit Mommy's Piggy Tales to read more stories and to find out how you can participate! *

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