Like fish in a tank

My youngest child is now in kindergarten. Every day the left side of his bright blue folder is stuffed with papers reflecting the work he did throughout the day. The right side contains his homework. One page, sometimes two.

While I am beyond impressed at his accomplishments thus far, this is not the Kindergarten I remember.

*******************************

Yellow walls. Bright and cheery. I don't really remember having desks. I'm pretty sure we had 3, maybe 4 big tables throughout the room. Each table was a different station. One with pencils, scissors, and paper - the art station. One with blocks and plastic counters - the math station.

Even though my best friend was a year older and in a different school, but I always had someone to play with at school. My teacher was always so nice. The way a Kindergarten teacher should be. Her name escapes me, but I will always remember her pitch black hair with the big curls. Looking back I realize that she was very with the times. Her hair was a typical 80's hair style.

Playing and drawing were so much fun, but what I really looked forward each morning was time with our classroom pet. Our class had a black and white lop-eared bunny. His fur was so soft. He felt just like a cotton ball when I would pet him. His black velvety ears flopped down the side of his head, framing his small face. Many days I wanted to sneak him home to keep for my own.

Sadly our bunny could not stay. He might have died, but I'd prefer to think he went to live with another family. The table that held our bunny cage was soon replaced with the biggest fish tank I had ever seen. My uncle worked in a pet store and was always bringing fish home for me. This tank far surpassed the size of any I had owned!

Inside that tank we had guppies. They were no bigger than my fingernails and would dart to and fro. Soon we learned that we had boy guppies and girl guppies. A small container was hung from the top of the tank. One of the girl guppies was placed inside by our teacher. Soon we had baby fish that were no bigger than a pencil mark.

We later added more fish to our tank, including a Beta. This was my favorite of the fish. His scales were a mix of royal blue and deep, dark red. If you looked just right, it appeared purple. I was not the only child who loved this Beta. Soon we were all asking if our Beta could have a friend. Our tank was big, but our teacher explained that it was not big enough to have two. Betas were grumpy fish. If we tried to give it a friend they would fight all the time. We wanted happy fish.


When reflecting on Kindergarten, I feel like those fish in the tank. I was confined within those soothing yellow walls, but free to move about my space. We were all happy and we were all friends.

Even the Beta.





For this week's RemembeRED prompt, we're asking you to remember kindergarten.


10 comments:

Kmama said...

Interesting take on Kindergarten...the being confined part.

My kindergarten was all about fun and games and a little about learning. What I remember most is that my teacher, Mrs. Merchant, had a baby and we had a sub for a long time.

Kimberly said...

We never had any pets in our kindergarten class :(
But I love that you compared it to the fish...lovely

blueviolet said...

Kindergarten was the best! It was about art, snacks, naptime and play!!! So different now!

Galit Breen said...

I so love your reflections (The Beta!) and the contrast you notice between your memories and your son's school experiences.

Your last paragraph? "When reflecting on Kindergarten, I feel like those fish in the tank. I was confined within those soothing yellow walls, but free to move about my space. We were all happy and we were all friends." is pure gold.

Shell said...

Kindergarten has definitely changed now! Love the fish analogy!

isaywhatimean said...

Homework in Kindergarten? Really? Sad.

Your last paragraph is lovely, and I love the tag line at the end... Even the Beta. Makes me smile, knowing how grumpy Beta fish really are.

Small concrit: "Even though my best friend was a year older and in a different school, but I always had someone to play with at school." You don't need the but here.

I love the memories... crystalized joy. I wonder if Kindergarten was really as wonderful as we remember it, or if time makes it rosy. I wonder how our children will remember it some day?

Good work!
Bobbi

Tiffany said...

I liked how you compared the way Kindergarten today is different than we know had it. I thought about doing the same but wasn't sure how to tie it in, you did great!

M.J. Putnik said...

Kindergarten back then really was like a cozy fish bowl, wasn't it? Imaginative, safe, and lots of FUN. I think the only homework we had was tracing our letters and numbers and practicing our ABCs. Now, those poor little kids are being forced to write their memoirs and decide what they want to be when they grow up! Geez... I don't think they even allow animals in the classroom anymore...so very sad. Loved this post. Brought back all the positive and fun things that kindergarten used to be about. Great Job :)

Jenna said...

I agree with MJ on everything she said. I enjoyed your post, and agree about the safety you mention :)

Babes Mami said...

I don't remember kinder at all! I do remember preschool though!