Two “First Day of School” Stories

Story #1: Feelin’ It!

There’s my brother and me on my first day of school in 1969 in the photo below. Don’t I look ecstatic? I was so jazzed about getting all dressed up to join other kids and learn stuff all day. I had those stylish white go-go boots, a polka-dot jacket and a fancy lunch box, and I was feelin’ it! (You know, that “look out world, here I come!” vibe.)

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Story #2: Let’s Bring Brufer!

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Mom and Steve, on a happier day

Steve had a less joyful start to his school career a few years later. He did not want to give up the one-on-one time with Mom he’d been enjoying since I started school, and despaired at the thought having to go to kindergarten – it must be some kind of punishment!  I can’t find any pictures of his first day (second child always gets ripped off in the photos dept!), but the images scream out so clearly in my head that I could almost project them on a screen.

Did I say SCREAM? On his first day of school, Steve screamed and screamed and wouldn’t even get into the car. You have no idea how strong and wiry a determined 5-year old can be when he violently objects to something.

My brother and I were very close, and I was, of course, the older, wiser, more experienced one who was used to taking care of him and translating his wants and needs. So I had the brilliant idea to bring along his favorite stuffed animal, a giant St. Bernard named “Brufer”.

Brufer

Older, yes.  Wiser, not so much.  And actually, dead wrong. My “Let’s bring Brufer, Mom!” idea was brilliant only until we got to school, when Steve realized he’d been duped: Brufer was just the bait to lure him into the car and couldn’t go into the classroom.

There was more screaming.

There might have been a scuffle.

Other parents might have stared, and judged.

I really do have empathy for my Mom when I look back on this story.

All’s well that ends well, as they say. Steve made an immediate impression on his teacher that day (!) and ended up being a favorite.  He was so cute!

Postlude

Image (2)Steve went over the rainbow in late 2013 and can’t challenge the accuracy of this story, but if anything, I’ve understated it. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)  If Steve was still with us, I’d placate him with a gently used Brufer like the one pictured above from eBay, and give him guest-blogger status with an invitation to tell one of his favorite stories about me. I wonder what that story would be? I’ll have to wait for heaven to find out.

In the photo below, I’m sure I was just about to stop him from toppling headfirst over the railing. Or was I?

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Happy First Day of School to children and parents everywhere. And, if you want my advice, don’t take Brufer.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

NOTE: this post was created ahead of time and scheduled to go live on Monday, August 28, 2017, the intended first day of school for many districts in our area of Southeast Texas. The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which we are still experiencing (click here), has delayed the first day of school for several hundred thousand children as the water continues to rise in Houston and the surrounding areas. Here is a list of the over 70 Houston-area schools that will be closed on Monday, August 28 and beyond; some of them aren’t even predicting when they’ll be open again, just saying “closed until further notice”. Texas school closings extend far beyond Houston all up and down the Gulf Coast. Your thoughts and prayers for Texas families are appreciated.

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