There wasn't a kindergarten in the public school when I was five. I spent the biggest part of my childhood playing with my sister in and around my grandmother’s white clapboard house. The porch was painted grey and we used it for base for games and for playing house.
When I was six, the yellow school bus pulled up to her drive and my sister and I climbed the steps to sit on the green vinyl seats for our first ride to school. An older teenage girl from our community took us over to the red brick building with five first grade classrooms.
It wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be. My sister and I were separated because they thought we needed to develop socially and educationally without depending upon one another.
The boy who sat in front of me had orange hair and black-rimmed glasses. We sat near the window and I looked longing out to the blue, blue sky. My bottom was firmly seated on the brown wooden chair and I dared not move because I had been warned about the consequences of getting in trouble at school. The bluff worked.
The first day went well until the boy with orange hair who obviously had not gotten the same warning as I had, colored his entire desktop black with a black jumbo crayon.
The teacher wasn’t happy and the speeches we heard earlier about school being fun flew out the window to the blue, blue sky.
I was over it. I think I cried but to no avail. I survived first grade, graduated high school with many who sat among me that day---but not with the boy with orange hair.