Daily Prompt: The Early Years

This prompt says to “Write page three of your autobiography.”  http://dailypost.wordpress.com


The first thought that occurs to me is my first day of school.

In Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, in the 1950s, we began Kindergarten at age 4, and then also had a second year of Kindergarten at age 5.  We called this Morning and Afternoon Kindergarten. I don’t know how things are now.  What I remember is being so independent.  With how they decided age criteria for admission, I was older than some of the other children.  I can picture the school, the playground.  Years later I went back to visit my first grade teacher, Miss Lindquist, and she remembered me.

My mother went back to teaching when I was in first grade.  My dad was a teacher too, and she wanted to give him some time off in the summers.  Perhaps I knew him better as a result, than other children growing up in the 1950s.  I don’t remember help with homework, as they had their own work.  But the home was full of books and rich conversations.  Mom corrected my grammar, in conversation.  All in a kind way.

As is true of every family, we’ve had our share of losses and illnesses. Good years, hard years, all kinds of years.  Still, the foundation from “the early years” is one of unconditional love–and lots of books as I said.

Some of my parents’ books are in this room, and I’ve donated so many.  I can never read them all–plus, I have my own interests, and they would love to hear me say that.

The sun rose above clouds today, just now breaking through…blessings for a beautiful Sunday.  Ellen

Image: Karen’s Whimsy.

14 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: The Early Years

  1. What a blessing to grow up with a foundation of unconditional love–perhaps that’s why your writing always sounds calm and peaceful to me, despite the fact you’ve had your share of tragedy, difficulty. God bless you with His favor in the New Year–love, Caddo


  2. Ellen, I loved reading more about your early life and, with Caddo, note the unconditional love with which God, through your parents, blessed you. These words particularly struck me – there is so much revealed here:
    “Some of my parents’ books are in this room, and I’ve donated so many. I can never read them all–plus, I have my own interests, and they would love to hear me say that.”
    Blessed New Year to you and Karl!


    1. Dear Maria, Thank you. You, Caddo, and so many others share so much on your blogs. It’s wonderful to see all of our gifts–so much in common and all our own voices and styles too. Happy New Year, with love, Ellen


  3. I started kindergarten at age four, as well. I would have been better off if I’d been held back – but we didn’t know that until I was 16 and 17. Like you, I remember the independence. I have a photo of me, starting down the sidewalk on my way to first grade. The school was close, but I was by myself. It was expected. I was a big girl, after all. 😉


  4. Delightful details, Ellen! In southeast Kansas there was no public kindergarten until after I was old enough, so I attended a private kindergarten in the basement one of the churches. It was mornings only, but in addition to basic skills we also took tap-dance lessons to improve coordination, and for the boy next to me, to teach him the difference between his left foot and his right. But it was still a grand kickoff for the rest of my education!


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