Piper turned five years old today. We went to celebrate with her and her family and other grandparents this evening. She was anxious to open up her gifts, not too anxious to have received clothes, and anxious to eat her cake and ice cream. She blew out all five candles in one breath of air.
It is hard to imagine how she got to be five years old already. Why, that means I'm five years older than I was when she was born. Kindergarten next summer. Holy cow!
I don't remember much about being five years old. I do remember vaguely an experience that happened either in kindergarten or in first grade. My teacher's name was Mrs. Draper --- I had her for kindergarten and first grade both. I suppose because Mrs. Draper wrote a nice note home to my parents lauding my behavior, she was exalted above all other teachers I ever had. The note remained a family heirloom. So I have always remembered Mrs. Draper fondly and I don't know how much the mythology of the situation fog's my memory.
Whatever the case may be, the way I recall it the boy who sat behind me, Kent was his name, liked to talk when he should have been paying attention. So Mrs. Draper --- probably joking --- told me if Kent tapped me on the shoulder to talk, I should poke him in the nose. Well, it didn't take long for the realization of that eventuality. Pretty soon Kent wanted to talk and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and socked him in the nose. Problem is, the other kids in the classroom didn't like my obedience and castigated me. However, I don't remember ever receiving anything but praise from Mrs. Draper.
Odd thing is I turned out to be a pacifist. But that probably had more to do with Steven, who beat me up after I picked a fight with him on the bus. That was much later though, early in high school.
I hope Piper has a Mrs. Draper-type as a teacher: one that will laud her and that Piper will want to obey no matter what. I'd also like to see her receive a nice note home praising Piper that can become a myth of excellence to her family. Go Piper!