“Well!” my mom shouted with glee, as she clapped her hands, “today is your first day of Kindergarten Indiana”! She looked far too excited and sounded a little too eccentric. I sat there at the breakfast table with crossed arms and an untouched plate of peanut butter and butter on toast .
“Cmon!” she said “Let's get you dressed in your new outfit!” I slid off the hard kitchen chair and meekly responded ,” Okay , Mama.” I was not excited . At all. I was missing my dad and also my little sister , Isabella who lived at his house , Our Old house while I lived with Mom in this new apartment.
We traipsed into Mama’s bedroom, actually we both shared it and she laid out a yellow sundress , with matching socks and headband.
“Cmon slowpoke let's get ready!” She tugged my arm and started to pull the dress over my head . After I was dressed I stood on the toilet in the bathroom to see the full
picture . I was happy . I felt a little smile tug at my lips , but that did not take away the nervousness. Or my fear of being with strange children all day . Not one bit.
We went outside to wait for the bus that would bring me to school and stood close on the curb , next to each other , not speaking, watching the cars drive by. Mama handed me my back pack with my lunch.
At last the bus for school showed up , very noisy with loud brakes and a swoosh noise as the doors opened and the bus driver glanced down at me.
“Welcome to the bus for school!” she chirped ! She had short blonde hair and a wide and welcoming smile .
Hmmm … I was starting to feel less nervous already. Mama turned to me and gave me a kiss on the check and a pat on the head . She looked in my eyes and said , “have fun and be a good girl Indi!” And I was off.
Let me just take a moment here and explain a little bit about our family . Mama and Dad had recently been having a lot of arguments with lots of yelling and throwing things . It was kind of scary. And also my dad has a girlfriend. Her name is Zoe and she is really nice , she always gives me hugs. But my mom doesn't like her and I’m not supposed to say her name or speak of her .
Sometimes the yelling would get really loud. I mean very loud and accompanied with strange crashing noises. Isabella and I would huddle on the floor in our room and I would tell her silly stories. This made her smile and well it made me smile when she smiled , so that is what we did. This scenario used to happen a couple times a week , until it happened every day. Then the police came and my dad had to leave . Now my dad and Zoe live in the house with Isabella and I live with my mom. I get to see them once a week on Saturdays and I sleep over .
My Dad says that he is working on something so that I can stay with them , but he said I am to be patient and not cause Mama trouble .
The bus ride to school was a little frightening and since I did not know anyone and Mama says I am very shy around new people , especially other kids , I sat alone on a seat in the front .
After the bus pulled into the school yard , the bus driver told us to form a line in the aisle and we padded down the center , down the steps and out to our awaiting teachers. Our class had two. One teacher and another one called an assistant. Miss Vickie is the assistant , I liked her right away. She had long hair pulled back in a messy bun and bright blue eyes that smiled , even when she wasn't smiling . If you know what I mean. Our teacher was Mrs. Carr and she was dark with beautiful earrings and curly hair.
They gathered us up and led us single file into the classroom. Everyone was skipping and laughing , probably because they had already been coming to school since last Monday. It appeared I was the only one that was shy and nervous. Miss Vickie had to stop the group twice and ask Anthony to stop talking and to keep his place in line.
After we arrived in the classroom, and oh what a nice room it was, I glanced around.
It was bright with blue desks , a coat closet with double doors and a large bulletin board , with colorful pictures of puppies and kittens , and a lot of bunnies. I could feel my head turning around to stare at everything. My heart was racing and I was nervous but excited at the same time . Then Mrs. Carr came over and knelt down in front of me and said , “Hi Indiana! we are so happy to welcome you to our class !” I mumbled something, maybe you're welcome , and she gently took my hand and led me over to my new desk .
My desk was the first desk in the row and a girl named Lizzie with wavy brown hair and glasses sat behind me. Patricia was next to me and Frank, a thin boy with glasses and red head was in front of me. As soon as I sat down , Frank turned around and said ,
“Hi” with a big smile and a missing front tooth. He said “We have three dogs!”I smiled back and said nothing .
Mrs. Carr then clapped her hands and proceeded to go to the other side of the room , where she instructed each child to say their name and tell the class about something that makes them happy.
I was very intrigued and interested as I had never been around so many children at the same time . There were so many names and so many things that everyone shared about being happy ! By the time it was my turn , I didn't feel that shy ,maybe because I was last.
” My name is Indiana McNally and a lot of things make me happy . But my favorite thing that makes me happy is telling silly stories to Isabella , and jumping on our trampoline at my Dad’s house.” Everyone clapped and smiled at me and I suddenly felt better all at once. I sat up straighter in my chair. And I smiled too.
The rest of the day went by very quickly including snack time and lunch time where we all sat at tables and ate sandwiches and drank little containers of milk. I sat next to Frank and Lizzie and they told me about their dogs and new bikes and then Lizzie burped really loud and the three of us laughed together.
By the end of the day I was feeling happy and content , and not nervous in the least . When it was time to board the bus , Lizzie grabbed my hand and said “ Let’s sit together , ok ? We can be best friends .”
I was so happy , I could barely speak , and I nodded alot and smiled. We climbed the steps onto the bus , and sat right behind the bus driver. We held hands all the way home.
I knew even before we were even half way home that something had changed and that everything was going to be alright .
When I climbed down the steps of the bus at my stop I looked around for Mama. For a second I could feel my heart starting to beat fast. Then I saw Mama and Dad and Isabella in the stroller licking an ice pop . They were all waving to me with smiles .
I ran to them, gave them each a hug and as we started for home I could not keep quiet about my first day! There was so much to tell!
And well , if I am being perfectly honest , I think about that day often. It was one of the best days in my life !