How did it happen?
Well, I guess I should start from the beginning.
When a little girl starts her first day of kindergarten, she never imagines it will change her life. She doesn’t think that at the age of 5, she’ll meet the man of her dreams or a friend for life. To her, it was just a new day. To me, it was so much more.
My first day of school was very hectic. I remember my mom trying to calm my hair down for what felt like hours and eventually giving up and pulling it into a barrette with a heavy sigh. When my mom finished with my hair, she flung her arms around me, squeezing so hard I thought, at the time, my eyes would pop out of my head. She handed me my lunch bag and hurried me out the door.
The big yellow bus that would take me to my new adventure was bursting with children and waiting for little ol’ me. I skipped down our walkway, swinging my lunch and grinning ear to ear. I hopped onto the first step and turned to see my mom wiping a tear from her cheek. I couldn't understand, at the time, why she would be so sad.
I stepped foot onto the bustling bus and felt my heart drop to my feet. My house wasn’t too far from school, so the bus was massively full of children hopping up and down, throwing paper airplanes, and screaming at one another.
Panic set in when I couldn’t find an empty seat. When I imagined my first day of school, trying to find a seat on the bus had never popped into my mind. A few rows back, I saw a young blonde girl, who looked a little older than me, reading what appeared to be the bible and an empty seat to her right. I held my breath as I approached her, silently praying that she wouldn’t mind if I sat next to her.
“Hi?” I looked up at her with those wide innocent eyes my mother always fell victim to.
She placed her finger below a line, marking her place, and looked up at me with a firm expression. She appeared to be evaluating me. She didn’t speak to me. She just nodded and then returned to her reading. I slid in smoothly beside, avoiding disturbing her.
The drive to school was short but very informative for my little mind. I remember looking around and soaking it all in. The sounds, smells, and texture of it all were so new, and I loved every second of it. I sat there with my little lunch box on my lap, smiling as wide as possible.
When the bus pulled up to the front of the school, everyone instantly stood up. We weren't even at a complete stop yet, and it was a mad dash to the exit. The blonde girl beside me pushed me aside, and I almost fell to my knees. I ended up dropping my lunch box, and when I reached down to grab it, a young boy, who looked about my age, reached for it first. We made eye contact, and I smiled gratefully. In return, he gave me a weird sideways half smile. It was utterly adorable.
He handed me my lunch and ran off down the steps to meet the other boys outside. I looked out the window and saw a woman standing outside, surrounded by kids my age. There she was, my first teacher. She looked perfect. When a child imagines their first teacher, she would be the dream. She had kind eyes, a soft smile, and a welcoming aura. And it was just my luck that adorable little boy was standing just to her right. I knew right there that this was going to be a good day.