While enjoying a nice Sunday dinner, courtesy of Karen who gets home from church a few hours before we do, we were chatting about the upcoming week. Tomorrow’s a holiday—Labour Day—so we have some fun things planned and then on Tuesday Rachel is going to try out a preschool at a neighbour’s house, just around the corner from our house. Exciting times.
“Who will be my teacher?” she asked.
“Her name is Mrs. O,” Grandma told her, “And she’s very smart!”
She couldn’t understand why we were all stifling laughter under our napkins instead of answering her next question.
“If I’m not very smart you probably should stop asking me ‘Why?’ so much,” I told her.
“Why?” she asked. She is so predictable sometimes.
I’m not the first mom to be accused of stupidity. My mom before me was accused of it, too. Once when Patrick was little we were driving in the car and he had a light bulb moment.
“Mom!” he excitedly blurted out, “I know why your brain doesn’t work—it’s just at a red light!”
I believe he is also the one who suggested that perhaps she simply has holes in her brain. Oh, children bring such much joy to life.
I went to a preschool program for a while. I don’t actually remember much about it. It was a long time ago. I know that it was at an elementary school—Forest Grove Elementary, probably. We often met in the gymnasium and had to bring our own snacks. There was a girl in my class who had a prosthetic hand and on that hand her thumb and index finger were stretched out like she was going to pinch something and they were just the right distance apart to allow her to pick up things like crayons and raisins. She brought a little box of raisins every day.
I also remember going on a walk in the forest with my class and finding a dragon fly. We put it on a leaf in the sunshine so that its wings could dry out.
I remember walking home from school—sometimes after picking up David from kindergarten—with my mom. I would pretend she was a monster and was chasing me. I was also always afraid to walk past the building that the King family used to live in because that building had a fire in it and…so I was afraid to walk past it.
I’m sure that felt logical way back then. I don’t see the logic now.
I also remember going to the Laundromat at the apartment complex with my mom a couple of times. And playing on the tire swing at the playground.
I actually guess I have quite a few memories from our time in Burnaby, though they are all the fuzzy, dream-like kind where grown ups seem a million feet tall and always knew what was going on, days lasted forever, and it seemed like a million years passed between each birthday. My, how my perception has changed. Now grown ups don’t seem so tall and I know that most people spend most of their life not knowing what is going on. Days pass too quickly and I can’t even keep track of how old I am anymore because my birthdays come too close together.
Preschool might not be remembered by Rachel in great detail—I don’t remember much about mine—but I think it will be worth it for her. It’s one more stepping-stone on the road to growing up and realizing that no matter how much you learn you end up knowing so little because you’ve learned there are no absolutes and that no one, not even mother, knows everything.