First day of school

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After my summer sabbatical I thought it appropriate to return to my blog on a Throwback Thursday as schools begin here in AZ- and include this extra special picture of me on the first day of school.

Bangs cut by my mother at an awkwardly lopsided angle? Check! Polyester polka-dotted overalls? Check! Forced and uncomfortable smile? Check!

I have that smile that only a 5 year old has. The “I just thought of a new excuse for why my highly over-picked nose is bleeding again!
‘I ran into a wall’! sounds convincing enough.

Was I a nose picker? Oh, I could have won a medal in the sport.
Nail biter? Briefly.
Pool jet leaner? Definitely!
Never a thumb sucker- but with my Dumb and Dumber overbite- I sure looked like one!

So- note to parents: if you keep your kids socially awkward long enough you decrease their chances of being approached by the popular kids with drugs; you keep them from getting pregnant by the hot football captain (or even getting a date with the water boy); and you keep them from all that pressure that comes with being accepted, revered (or even liked) by too many people.

So to my tween daughter on the eve of middle school I say this… “Pick on! Bite on! Lean on”!

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3 thoughts on “First day of school

  1. You’re nuts. there was no “Individual Popularity” in grade school. it was a clique oriented thing. it was all a matter of whether you were part of the Nazi Group, the School Newspaper Group, the Overweight Group, the Athletically Inclined Group, the I’m Developing Early Group, the From the Neighborhood Group, the Bring vs. Buy your Lunch Group or the Suck up to Sister/Teacher Group?”

    in my first year of parochial school there was also what seemed to be the Survival Group. this group was made up of we kids who had been sequestered and mollycoddled at home by their mothers until we were 6. kids who were then, without the social benefit of Nursery School or Kindergarten, dumped onto a school playground with strangers and told to “go make friends,” the Survival Group was made up of kids who lived in what were considered adult neighborhoods that lacked playmates and who then had them trucked in on weekends. this parade of “friends” always changed and were made up of kids who always seemed to be older and certainly had round-the-block experience. the Survival Group had no real social skills, had no idea how to play hop-scotch or jump rope, didn’t own marbles or a yo-yo and didn’t have the vaguest idea what it was “to share.” sidled up to our mothers, we stood there (maybe a dozen of us) each day with our backs up against the wall of the church, watching the other kids playing and wishing we weren’t so damn scared. one by one the Survival Group diminished in size as we each took that huge first step and actually talked to another child – who immediately became our best friend. it was a life defining step and opened the “social door” at school.

    I followed the rules, didn’t talk in class, didn’t chew gum and didn’t do anything without being told explicitly that we could do it. i couldn’t stay inside the lines with my Crayolas, couldn’t manipulate my log sized pencil if i had to hold it the way Sister Rose Angelus told us to and couldn’t understand how the other kids got into trouble when the rules had been so dramatically defined. what i could do was talk with my new friend at recess and at lunch – where i now had someone with whom to sit. it made it tolerable. each successive year brought more friends, the wider perspective that comes with new and shared ideas and a mutual interest we had in common on how to get around the rules.

    oh, on the nose picking thing… i don’t know that i ever did it at school but maybe that was because i was constantly tempted to suck my thumb. i was never really a nail biter but i think it was because i was incessantly preoccupied with this constant necessity to pull my underwear out of my butt crack. i think that i did it so much that my parents began to think it was part of my walk.

    i had a wonderful time at St. Ambrose. a few years back, we had our 50th 8th Grade Reunion. of the 52 people in our graduating class, 39, who had apparently been similarly effected, made it back.

  2. Too bad I have seen pictures of you in high school and know you are just being humble. I believe beautiful, stunning, popular cheerleader would be more appropriate words to describe you!! xoxo Don’t make me bring out my pictures of the kulots (sp?) my grandmother assured me were very stylish to be wearing in middle school!!

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