Starting School

I remember trauma on the first day of school, too. In her first letter, Lucy describes her first day of school, and she implies that there could have been tears. I’ll bet that Lucy’s mother had trouble on the first day of school, too, as her daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter all had great reluctance to start school.

Mara (center) on the first day of school.

Mara (center) on the first day of school in 1986.

When our daughter started, she was not a little reluctant to get on the bus for school. Her brother was four years older, so we thought he could help her navigate the bus and getting into her classroom. That plan worked perfectly until Lon saw one of his friends as he got off the bus. Mara was left alone, scared and wondering where to go. Not a good start.

There was excitement on my first day of school, too. I don’t remember being scared or worried, mostly looking forward to it. One of my best friends that summer had been our neighbor Ray. We started in the same room for first grade in Franklin School in Jamestown. Ray did not like being left alone with all those strange kids, so he made a fuss. Such a fuss that his mother couldn’t leave. She sat in the back, in the cloak room, for the morning.

We’re all a little afraid of something. It helps to have someone along to allay that fear.

At least I didn’t have to bake stones in the oven to keep my feet warm on the way to school.
Grandpa Guy Havelick

 


Originally published 2014-10-13
Updated 2017-02-01

Lucy writes …

Going to school was a major step for me as I was so shy – of course the first grade meant singing a solo at a program. Our teacher was Miss Niblock and I really loved her. When my Dad took me the first day, telling the teacher “Don’t hurt her feelings or she won’t stop crying until she sees her mother”.

Going to school in those days for farm children meant going in the buggy. There was a seat in front and a box in the back. Alice and Lew sat in front and drove the horses, we sat in the back and sing fight, and would get off and run. When the weather got cold we would often freeze our cheeks and noses. Stones were heated in the oven to keep our feet warm but didn’t help a lot. Sometimes the horses would get down in the snow. What a scary sight to see horses struggle. I always cried.

 Lucy Letter 003