Just Mama and Me

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Following the guidelines of the local board of education, Mother and Daddy sent me off to first grade when I was five years old. In 1958 in our town, children could begin their twelve-year public school adventure at five years old as long as they turned six before the first of January. My birthday was December 2, so off I went.

Like the other children in town, I walked to school. Monday through Friday, I slammed the back door on the screen porch, walked across the backyard and across the parking lot into Daddy Leland’s grocery store, found my Daddy working inside, walked out the front door, crossed a street, crossed in front of two car dealerships and another grocery store, turned right at one of our town’s three traffic lights, followed the sidewalk to the school, turned onto the school sidewalk, went through the front door, and headed into Miss Massey’s first grade classroom.

The next year I went to Mrs. Powers’ room for second grade and the next year to Mrs. Smith’s for third.

In fourth grade, my teacher was Miss Flossie, whose last name was Turner, but we always called her Miss Flossie. That was the first year that I had someone to walk to school with me every day. My only sibling, my little brother Steve who is three years younger than I, started to school that year when he was five.

I don’t remember any problems until the day it was “bring your Mother to lunch day” in the school cafeteria. We had discussed it all at home before school. Steve was new in school, and now it was his turn for Mother to come to lunch with him.

I don’t remember a negative feeling or thought until it was time for the first graders to go to lunch. The first graders passed by the gym door on their way to the lunch room just at the time that I was sitting on the bleachers during P.E. class in the gym. That’s when I saw Mother pass by with Steve and my little heart broke at the thought that she would be with him and not with me at lunch time. I cried and cried. Poor Mr. Jareau. I don’t know why we were sitting on the bleachers instead of touching our toes, bending at the knees, or sticking our arms straight out from our shoulders and making tiny circles with them, but there we were sitting on the bleachers when the first graders went by. Poor Mr. Jareau — and my poor mama — someone brought her in to comfort me, too.

Poor little children. We certainly have times when we want our mamas all to ourselves and we don’t want to share them with anybody or anything — not siblings, not chores, not Facebook or Pinterest or cellphones, not anything.

Precious mama and child times — don’t miss out on ’em!

. . . and a voice came out of heaven,
“You are My beloved Son,
in You I am well-pleased.”
Luke 3:22

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