This afternoon a terrible thing happened. I was alerted to it by one of my children and my Facebook feed was loaded with news stories and videos posted by many of my friends and family.
The elementary school in the small town my three oldest girls grew up in had caught fire and it didn’t look good from the posts.
Opening in the fall of 1979, Terri and Kerri were in the first kindergarten class of Oakdale Elementary. The new school was badly needed but when it was built and ready to open they learned there was not enough room for the fifth graders so they had to be incorporated into the middle school across town.
Of course I was a first time mother of sending my children off to school and was determined to do it right. My mother insisted that the thing to do was to split the twins up and have them put into separate classes. So I did, because I had learned my mother was usually right. Then, I dropped them off at school for their first day with tears in my eyes. They seemed fine to me. A few hours later a friend of mine called and said she had just left the school and they were both in tears.
It wasn’t a good morning. We had a choice of half day or full day. I had decided to leave them for a full day because afternoons for kindergarten at that time would be nap time. My reasoning was at least they would take a nap there because I was sure they would fight me about it at home.
They survived. I survived. If I had to do it over, I would probably not split them up. They went through elementary, middle, and high school separated. It would have been a lot easier to deal with homework from one teacher instead of two.
Three years later, Amie started kindergarten and insisted she would ride the bus to school the first day – and she did! She always thought she was as old as her sisters.
Seven years later, Jessie started kindergarten, and at that time I had one in elementary school, one in middle school, and two in high school. They were spread out from one end of that small town to the other. At least they all rode the same bus and were picked up and dropped off at the same time.
I wish this was not the occasion that brought back these memories for me, and I want to cry when I think about the school burning. I don’t know any details yet, but the pictures and videos don’t look promising. It’s so sad…