The first day in first grade. The first time I sat in a desk, leaning my elbows in the carved-up wood, wondering if there would be a bottle of ink for the inkwell. Our teacher, Mrs. Beavens, shook her auburn curls as reached for the pole to open the top window. Her freckled arms jiggled as she clapped two erasers. She began writing on the chalkboard:
Her mouth rounded as she faced us and said, "This is Oh--Oh--repeat after me:
Her mouth rounded as she faced us and said, “This is Oh–Oh–repeat after me: Oh. We all said “Oh” in unison. My world opened up as the letters made sense with the sounds. Later that day each of us got a colorful hardback book called The Little White House, and I immediately started reading about Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot and Puff who lived in a little white house.
What a lovely little slice of time, before our first quiz, before being graded, and before I understood what the radiation sign in the brick hallway was about. The beginning of learning how to read.
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.