For Whom the (School)Bell Tolls

When we moved back to my hometown, I had a lot of idyllic visions of how things would be, much like my friend Kate.

Some things came true.
We take strolls around our neighborhood and nature walks or alphabet walks.
(Well, we do when it’s cooler outside.)
We swim and have lazy dinners with some of my oldest family friends.
We do fun stuff with friends, old and new.
We often have Sunday lunch with my parents.

So in a lot of ways, life here is idyllic.

But there are also things that aren’t exactly what I anticipated.
Carter’s school, for example.

He will be starting Kindergarten this year.
I don’t know who’s more excited: me or him!

He’ll be going to a *Brand*New*School*, which is awesome and beautiful and well-planned.
But I have to admit that when we picked our house, we assumed we’d be zoned for what was my old elementary school.
When I went to register him for school back in May, I went to my old school…the school I thought he’d be going to…
and I was floored by how many memories surfaced just by walking through the front door.

The time in Ms. Golson’s class when we donned black plastic trash bags, dressed up like California Raisins and did the dance.
The first day I wore glasses to school.
The time I was disappointed that one 5th grade class learned the word “antidisestablishmentarianism” and our class didn’t.
(I’ve always been a dork.)
The time we made paper with Ms. Rivers.
Sitting in my 1st grade class and watching the snow fall through those tiny little slits of window.
I even remember one day from Kindergarten…when Chan asked me to sit at his table.
I remember lunches and PTA meetings and talent shows in the lunchroom.

A few days ago, I had another reason to go up to my old school.
I asked if it was ok if I just walked around and looked, and the secretary said that was fine.
I walked to the play ground.
There was a lot of new equipment, but the swings were still there.
And I remembered kicking a boy because he tried to kiss me,
Being too much of a scared-y cat to jump of the swings while I was swinging,
Standing in the shade of the building with Ms. Blizzard and some of the students from her class.

I know it sounds a bit crazy,
but I thought it would be cool if my kids and I had memories from the same place, different times.
And I know it sounds crazy, but there are parts of me that wish we were zoned
for the old, slightly-run-down-but-obviously-loved school and not the *Big*Fancy*New school.

At the old school, there are lots of playscapes.
The new school has no playground at all(yet).
At the old school, I know the principal and a lot of the staff.
I’ve never met the principal at the new school, but I’ve heard that she’s really nice.
At the old school, I have lots of memories.
The new school has new memories to be made for the kids and me!

He is excited!
I am excited!

I’m happy about the teacher to whom he’s been assigned.
I’ve known her for years, and she’s super-duper sweet.
She taught him in Sunday School a few years back, so she knows what she’s getting into!

12 Responses to For Whom the (School)Bell Tolls
  1. Leslie Stone
    July 26, 2010 | 3:51 pm

    Awwww, I know what you mean! I’m kinda glad that Avery will go to my old school. It’s funny how many of those memories I share with you. I still have the home video of us dancing as the California Raisins! We need to have an old movie night – I’ve got quite a stash from the good old days!

  2. tracey lowe
    July 26, 2010 | 5:31 pm

    I just read your blog. Austin(my son that played tball with your son) went to Dames Ferry last year and will be going to Gray elem this year. I was a little upset to change schools because i loved Dames Ferry. After reading your blog u helped me to be more excited because that is where I went to school and we can share memories together. I took Austin to see the school and I felt like not much had changed since I went there. Just wanted to thank u for helping me see it a different way.

  3. Pops
    July 26, 2010 | 5:35 pm

    Just think…every time I go to church I have memories from my old school days.

  4. Aubrey Newby
    July 26, 2010 | 5:43 pm

    It’s amazing how much comes flooding back when you walk through the door. Ever notice that it still smells exactly the same. Wonderful memories- thanks Bridget.

  5. Liz Sanders
    July 26, 2010 | 10:22 pm

    All the memories I have of GES!
    In first grade Mrs. Blizzard was my teacher. I remember she had a paddle with holes in it. It was scary. I’m so glad they don’t use those anymore! I remember when we were learning about money she set up a store in her class room and let us buy penny candy with change. I have hoped that my kids would have a teacher who would do fun things like that to help them learn.
    Fourth grade was my favorite year there. Aubrey was my best friend,we played on the swings everyday and we did the Disney PTA show. My teacher was Mrs Jacob and our class was the Mickey Mouse Club.
    Every now and then the lunch menu would have things like “Michael Jackson Jello” and “Tina Turner Tater Tots”, which make me love tater tots even more!

  6. Heather
    July 27, 2010 | 6:31 am

    I daydream of moving home and having my kids go to MY school too. Only, it will never happen. I’m learning to be OK with it. Sorta. 😉

    Kindergarten…Let me know how it goes, because it scares the tar out of me. AHHHHH!

  7. Hope
    July 27, 2010 | 9:35 am

    I’m glad somebody is excited! My “baby” is afraid and so am I. Having grown up in Macon I have no warm fuzzies about GES but I think I’m glad we are there. I have to admit there is something magical about walking through those doors. It is obvious it is a well loved school. I’m glad you have such fond memories and it was comforting to read this. Thanks!

  8. Grandma
    July 27, 2010 | 10:15 pm

    I remember going across the viaduct (bridge over railroad) in my hometown and seeing that the gym had been demolished – the last thing that was standing of my old school. (Everything else had already been re-built. Scared everyone in the car with my loud gasp! They thought I had seen something horrible. Well….to me it was.

  9. domestic extraordinaire
    July 28, 2010 | 2:45 pm

    Both of the girls have gone to schools I went to growing up. Except Giggles got to experience the old high school and will experience the new one being built right now. The old one is being torn down this week. I am excited that my girls for the most part will have high school memories in a state of the art high school that will offer them many things that they old one simply couldn’t. But I am sad to know that their memories won’t be in the same hallways that mine were.

  10. punkinmama
    July 28, 2010 | 7:55 pm

    Awww, that’s bittersweet!

    I have very few memories of elementary school! Like shockingly few. I wish I had more.

    And I have to say, I was surprised to not see any pictures of your old school in this post!

  11. Jamie
    July 31, 2010 | 11:02 am

    In June we moved 450 miles from Chicagoland to small town OH. It’s been such an experience. I only attended school here until 2nd grade and that school has been long since closed down, so my girls won’t attend the same school I did, BUT they will go to the same High School my Mom and Dad did. My mom passed away in 2007(not going to make this a downer comment, I swear) and there is something wonderful knowing that my girls will walk the halls she and my Dad walked. That they’re playing where they played and living where they lived and growing up where they did.

  12. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith
    August 1, 2010 | 2:18 am

    That is wonderful you could relive those memories…I live 3,000 miles away from my hometown.