Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Starting School

The other day, I talked about having worked for Delta Airlines, but after going back to college for one year in Georgia, I quit Delta and moved back to Louisiana to complete my degree.

At the same time, fall of 1991, I started at Southern Tech in Marietta, Georgia, Number One Daughter began kindergarten at Youth Christian School in Powder Springs, near where we lived. (That's Youth Christian Church to the right. N.O.D.'s class was in one of the basement classrooms.)

After I had been registered and everything was in order, and school was about to start, Lovely Wife, Number One and Number Two Daughters and I went to Wal-Mart to get school supplies.

Despite the fact that I LOVE new pencils, new packs of loose leaf paper (wide ruled for easier fraction writing on one line), new pens, and the whole bit, I didn’t realize how jazzed Number One Daughter was that I was going to school at the same time she was.

But as we made our way through the smorgasborg of pristine school supplies, Number One Daughter’s excitement was like perfume. It was all around her.

Then when we got up to the cashier to check out, Number One Daughter made a point to tell the cashier that she was starting school in kindergarten and that her Dad was starting school too! (That's the student union building at Southern Tech in the pic to the left, or it was back then, who knows if it's still used for that.)

The cashier looked at Lovely Wife and I with a knowing look, playing along with Number One Daughter’s excitement.

Now, I have to tell you, it was tough going for us at the time. We only had one vehicle; a Mazda extended cab pickup truck.

The girls were still small and easily fit into the rear seats, and in fact, we even made trips in this truck and the girls did fine, and had plenty of room.

But having one vehicle is tough. And with the miles we had to put on it to get everything done, it was a really great truck; almost part of the family.

I worked 3:30 to midnight at Hartsfield, and then had a 40 minute drive home. Then I had to wind down enough to go to sleep, but then had to get back up for either 7am (!) or 8am classes. (The pic's of a walkway between a couple of buildings at Southern Tech, and I used to sit at that picnic table in the right side of the pic to wait on Lovely Wife and the girls to come and pick me up.)

On days where Lovely Wife would need the truck for something, we would all get up, take me to school in Marietta, take Number One Daughter to school, do what she needed, and then go get Number One Daughter (half day kindergarten) and then come and pick me up.

If she REALLY needed the truck, she might have to take me to work at Hartsfield and also pick me back up at 12:30am.

It was a tough gig that we gladly did for one whole school year.

One day, after Number One Daughter and I had been in school for a while, and they were taking me to a 7am Trigonometry class, Number One Daughter asked me how I liked school (she was fascinated by my ‘big’ campus).

I said that I liked school a lot, and asked her how she liked school. (This final pic is of a park-like area of sweetgum trees in the middle of Southern Tech's campus. This place was incredibly beautiful during the fall color change.)

She said that she liked it a lot too.

I asked her what her favorite part was, and she immediately answered, “coloring.”

She then asked me if I got to color in my school. I said no, Honey, I don’t.

I will never ever forget the mixture of horror and disbelief on her face at the thought of having to go to school, but not getting to color.

Ah, the innocence of the young.

Good times, good times.

What reminded me of this is that on Sunday afternoon after church (two days ago), Number One Daughter, now 21, was sitting in my recliner coloring in a coloring book.

They have a bunch of them at church and she’s in charge of the nursery/daycare during the main Sunday service, so she brought one home with her that she had been using with the children, and was coloring for her own pleasure at home.

I guess she has always loved coloring and always will.

Lovely Wife found one where she had gotten outside the lines a little and was teasing her about it.

I said that she has probably, at 21, finally hit her rebellious stage.

We’ll be keeping a sharp eye out on her.

There’s no telling what kind of trouble coloring outside the lines may morph into.


Hammer said...

My girls are in the coloring stage now. The can't get enough of it.

I remember 1991, my wife and I shared a 1973 plymouth satellite.
With work and school much like you describe. luckily we didn't have kids back then.

JAM said...

It's amazing to think of what I was willing to take on at 29-30 years old. It makes my head spin. I need that kind of guts right now in my life.

Emily said...

"I will never ever forget the mixture of horror and disbelief on her face at the thought of having to go to school, but not getting to color."

Ahaha, aw that, so cute! I looove coloring. I don't really color anymore...but I remember it was awesome to have a new pack of pencil crayons, all sharpened and looking snazzy in a pencil box, ready to go. Good times, good times!

scribbit said...

When my husband was in law school (and even five years after that) we only had one car but luckily we lived close to the places he needed to be--work and school--so he ended up walking. He always said he liked the exercise but boy you feel sorry for someone walking to school/work in North Dakota/Alaska in the middle of winter.

Travis said...

What a charming story.

I keep coloring books and crayons on hand for visits from my 7 year old niece. And when she decides the activity of the moment is to be coloring, she chooses a page for me and keeps a very careful eye on my progress.

I didn't get to color when I finished my degree either. Dangit.

CyberCelt said...

There is something truly zen-like about coloring.

Here from Blog Village Carnival.

jan said...

No coloring, no recess, no show and tell, no field trips, no classroom gerbils. Why do we even bother to grow up in the first place?

JohnH985 said...

I want to color.

Very nice post. I'm here from the Carnival.

RUTH said...

To this day I love colouring...always pnching the grandchildren's colouring books. Nice post...here from the carnival

Naomi said...

Great post. Colouring books are popular with kids here in England. I loved colouring in them when I was little. Most parents keep some at home to keep children amused in rainy school holidays.

julie said...

**looks around and feels quite at home here**

Travis invited me over and I love it! I'll be back.

**rushes to go thank Travis**

The GateKeeper said...

I think the wonderful thing is that something we do now can trigger happy memories. Oh, to have happy memories of our children.

Anonymous said...

I saw your post on the Blog Village Family Carnival - it made me smile. Thanks!

Janey Loree said...

I followed your link from the BLOG VILLAGE Goes Gonzo Carnival!!! I still love to color. Now my mother and I create our own coloring books and paperdolls books.

It sounds like you have a very close family...THAT is priceless!!

sweetswede said...

Wow. I would definately put her on full lock-down; this coloring outside the lines thing is unnacceptable. (Hopefully you all catch my sarcasm).

Great post!

God bless!


LJP said...

Hilarious! No colouring = deprived childhood!

Hee hee!

Here for the Blog Village Carnival.