Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1986 - junior jaguar

my memory from 1986 is actually a painful one for me. something i'm not proud of, but not sure i can hold my five year old self accountable for either. 

i started a preschool program put on by the local high school students. they were the west jordan jaguars so we were, cleverly, the junior jaguars. 
{graduation, spring 1987}

preschool started my all-encompassing love for school. letters, numbers and coloring in the lines were my fortes. i was also the 1986-87 hula hoop champion {no thanks to my brothers who tried their hardest to sabotage that title by bending my own personal hoops. the nerve.}. 

i wouldn't say i was popular in this particular class, but i had friends and don't remember ever feeling left out. sadly, that wasn't a feeling i helped others achieve. 

to get to and from school, i was part of a carpool with three other neighborhood kids. our moms took turns dropping us off and picking us up in their fancy mini vans with exterior wood paneling and station wagons with teal vinyl seats. on the days the other girl's mom drove, we all filed out of the car nicely. the boys ran off and the two girls walked slowly to our line against the brick wall. 

but on the other days, the days when any of the other three moms drove, i joined the boys. i left that darling girl - my friend - in the dust. 

it seems a small thing, i know. perhaps not even worth mentioning let alone remembering 25 years later. but i knew it was wrong and i still did it. this girl wasn't like me. we didn't have much in common. she was slow - slow at thinking, slow at speaking, slow at playing. i didn't understand her. i didn't take the time to understand her, rather. and now, when i think about it, the remorse tugs and pulls at each at every last heart string. 

i'm not sure if she was officially diagnosed with something or if she was just plain different than me. either way, i knew it was wrong and i wish with all my heart i could go back and walk with her every day. not caring about how fast or slow we went or what we chatted about as we did so. that i could have included her in my confident games of hulu hoop rather than trying to deceive her mom {and probably not very well} that i was a good and true friend. i'm sure she doesn't think about it often like i do. hopefully she doesn't remember it at all. 
but i do. i remember it every time someone gives that look to leah. that you're-different-than-me-so-i-don't-really-know-how-to-be-your-friend-and-i-don't-want-to-take-the-time-to-try look. that longing gaze at their mom wondering if they are really going to have to include her.

and, although it's painful, that's when i'm a little grateful i can empathize with those kids. and realize that we all make mistakes and do things we're not proud of. not then, and not now.

my mom never mentioned it to me when she saw me race away. i think she saw the guilt in my eyes and knew i'd learn my own lesson. she was right.

we live and we learn {even in preschool} and hopefully we become better and stronger for it.
 {kinnersley kids at halloween - dan's face is entirely covered 
and yet somehow he still managed to make it goofy}
{kinnersley and auger kids, as usual, at the birthday celebration}

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