Monday, January 17, 2011

AND NOW HE GOES TO SCHOOL, part 1; by Ada Campbell

It wouldn't have been so bad--his first day at school--if they didn't have this high iron railing around the school yard. But there we stood, twelve of us mothers of first graders, clinging to the fence, oh, so helplessly!

The woman next to me moved closer. "Is yours a girl, too?" she asked, gallantly smiling.

"No," I said. "Mine is Sandy. See, Sandy is that curly-haired one standing there on the first step."

Mrs. Other Mother found Sandy in the little crowd. "Oh, the rascal," she said. "Why, he's right next to Margaret! Look, do you think Margaret's dress is too short?"

I was about to say that Margaret's scrap of a frock was perfect, but just then a brisk, efficient-looking young lady came sweeping down the schoolhouse steps.

"Come, children," she directed. "We are going in now." Several of the youngsters turned to wave an adventurous good-by. One boy--the biggest of them all--began to cry, whereupon the teacher gave him a gentle but determined shove--up the steps! Mrs. Other Mother and I looked at each other. Fortunately, it had not been Margaret or Sandy.

We regained our composure in just a few moments. "I suppose they have to be firm," my friend said. For we were friends indeed, after what we had just been through together. She continued, "Anyway, I often push Margaret around much harder than that teacher did."

"Yes," I admitted, and managed a grin. "And after all, I never really heard of a child being injured at school!"

We set off for home. We would see each other again at noon, we said.

There are days, you know, when a person can't accomplish a thing around the house. I tried to do a little cleaning, but somehow it didn't seem to make any difference whether the place was dusty or not. Then I had a wonderful thought. What a grand lunch I would get ready for Sandy! Baked potatoes, scalloped carrots, and cocoa with a marshmallow in it!