Remembering Kindergarten

I remember the letters on the wall of my kindergarten class. They were cartoon letters with faces and personalities. The vowels were female, plus Y. All of the consonants were male. Perhaps my feminism started there. I loved listening to a book on tape about space read by a man with a rich, deep voice. I never forgot his voice; I seemed to hear it throughout my life in odd places: advertising detergent, the voice of a movie trailer, and eventually embodied as a real person on a science show. His voice was resonant and soothing. I remember recess. I remember getting in trouble because I chased the boys around the dusty Texas playground trying to kiss them. When they saw me coming, they taunted me as they ran, “Kissy girl! Here comes kissy girl!” I was a natural-born sprinter so most of the time I achieved my goal. I don’t remember having a specific boy in mind to chase and kiss at that age, that came later. What I remember about kindergarten was the feeling I had in the classroom. I loved it there. I had a sense of possibilities and creativity and learning. I was open and innocent and in love with life. I later lost that childlike wonder, which is not unusual. But just because it’s normal doesn’t make it okay. Are there people out there who make it through childhood and adolescence with that sense of innocence, invincibility and idealism intact?

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