I had to help my oldest make a poster board project for his class, you know the ones that you put your picture, your family, your hobbies and your sports.  To help you feel important and so your class can get to know more about you.

It made me think about my star of the week, which we did in 1st grade.  I thought it was long gone, but low and behold it turned up with some family papers when I was cleaning out my grandparents stuff.  This is how I remember it, I think it was a big deal to find a picture of me to send into my teacher.  Because in the picture I think I’m about 4 and I’m sure my mom had no idea where she would have pictures of me, if she even had any. My parents didn’t have a camera, my aunt and my grandparents did.  My baby pics are the ones from the hospital and then some from the pediatrician and then they start at 1.  Not like the gazillion I have of my own kids.  I remember being excited to keep my poster, because the teacher laminated them.  I didn’t have any posters, I didn’t even have my own room.  She talked about how we could hang them up when we got home.  I remember kind of propping mine up somewhere and I was totally shocked that it still existed.

Our teacher would ask the other students to say what they liked about the star and she would write the answers on a small star to stick on the picture.  I wish I would have paid attention to what the other kids said and took it to heart back then.  But I remember being kind of shy about it and being kind of embarrassed to have a whole poster about me.  I didn’t like having all the attention on me, I guess I just wanted to blend in as much as possible, because my home life made me feel like such an outsider and I just wanted to be happy at school, because that was one of my favorite places to be besides my nan’s house.  Some of the kids said I played well, or they liked playing with me, and I was nice.  Some of the kids probably couldn’t think of something to say because there were things like she sits with me at lunch sometimes.  Some of the boys said I dressed nice and I was pretty.  My best friend from elementary school said I was her best friend.  I didn’t even remember we were friends in 1st grade, I even asked her recently who her teacher was.  That kind of makes me sad, because we were close our whole elementary school life and we had so much in common and played really well together.  I sometimes think if I had stayed friends with her in junior high instead of trying to change myself, I might not have made some stupid choices or had so much of the angst that I had.  I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to grow up and have more freedom.

I hope and pray my kids don’t ever rush to be older and realize who their true friends are.  I wish I would have thought I was pretty and nice and that people liked me and had given myself a chance.  I wish I would have had better esteem. I think by then your personality is established, so when did I change, why did it take so long to come back and try to improve myself to be a kind person like I was in 1st grade??


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