Those 9-9 Girls

20200112_163042

Looking in my daughter’s eyes, I could feel her heart sink. She supposed her teacher and I would be rehashing the good old days. That was not to be.

We were at her junior high open house. Lo and behold, she had the same Home Economics teacher I had so many years ago. As I re-introduced myself, Mrs. Tada rolled her eyes. “Oh, those 9-9 girls.”

Turning to Cindy, she explained, “That was my first year teaching.” I could hear what she didn’t say. I never want to relive that year.                                                                                                                                                                                               © JB Katke

 

When I was in school, back in the dark ages, students met in homeroom. It was there that we listened to announcements over the PA, attendance was taken, then dispersed to our various classes. We were numbered by grade and group, hence my 9-9 status.

My Home Ec class was a little on the rowdy side. Not me of course, I considered my sewing class as recess. It was the only subject I excelled in. But poor Mrs. Tada had trouble keeping order in the classroom.

My friend Belinda got into a heated disagreement with one of our tablemates. Belinda picked up a seam ripper and as if shooting a dart, took aim at the girls face. I freaked out, fearing the girl was about to lose an eye. Thankfully nothing happened.

Cindy feared comparison with the sewing skills of her mother. Instead she learned Mom was young once and part of a class filled with immaturity. My school days were challenging too. .

Home Ec didn’t ‘click’ with either of my girls. But that’s okay. Both of them has excelled in areas I could never have imagined. I think it’s interesting how they have grown up in the same home, with the same parents, but blossomed individually. My children make me proud.

At birth, each of us are given differing gifts and talents. Sometimes it just takes a long time to realize them, like myself. I’m finding life is a giant learning process.

Lessons Learned

20191006_180007

Family has handed me a fistful of mysteries. Grandma’s anger at her sister-in-law went unexplained.

Curiosity made me wonder why Aunt Jane refused marriage proposals from three men. In time she became comfortable with her singleness. How did she know marriage would be a mistake for her?

Learning has no age barrier, the longer I live the more I learn. Soon I expect to know everything.

Too Late Now

A neighber insisted her children spend equal time between the TV and reading. Likewise, learning a musical instrument to listening to the latest rock songs. Why didn’t I think of that in my child-raising years?

I wish I had seized the opportunity to teach my granddaughters to sew when they lived nearby. Regardless of my busyness, I realized too late that children don’t stay little.

How Can This Be?

Is this (practically) an instant replay? I was dragged into grandparenthood before my time. Now great-grandparenthood too. How can this be? My daughter a grandmother at thirty-eight years of age. Is she old enough to qualify for this? Doesn’t anyone get married and have children after the wedding?

I have made too many blunders to point fingers at anyone. 

My Circle

My circle of family and friends have taught me much, but I am a slow learner. Patience was won by raising forgetful, rebellious, talkative children. The bloodline has become my launching pad. Kin has been a priceless experience bringing me where I am today.

Tolerance came when I realized others with a different background than my own; their words and actions made sense…if only to themselves.

I’ve found forgiveness is best learned on the receiving end. Then pay it forward to another undeserving soul.

God is patient with me. Past events have shown I’m no longer the person I used to be. That’s a good thing,

Friendships can move on, but family should never be cast away. There is too much to be learned from them. I wonder what my family has learned from me.

I may not want to know.