Sunday, November 25, 2012

The First Day of First Grade - Kathy, 62

When I catch the scent of a particular air freshener it transports me back to my most frightening childhood memory, which haunts me to this very day.  I will never forget the sheer terror of walking into St. Joseph's Catholic Grade School on the first day of grade 1.  Each step my little gray tie shoes took after getting off the bus took me one step closer to being swallowed by that vastly threatening world that I did not, and did not want to, know.  I so wanted to run back to the comfortable loving arms of my mommy.  The smell of the black and white copy book as it was opened for the days’ lessons is forever engrained in my mind.  When we were able to go to the lavatory before lunch or recess, we had to keep our finger over our mouth, as talking was not permitted.  The boys were always kept a respectable distance away from the girls.  But the most terrifying memory I have of that day was my introduction to the nuns.  They wore all black garments with black hoods that covered their hair and anything else that would have suggested the presence of a nurturing female inside.  I never felt more relief as when that final bell rang at the end of the day and I knew it would not be long until I could return to the comfort of my home and my mom.  And that was my introduction to my life-long nemesis, insecurity.

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