A nice mouse family

mousefamily.jpgMrs. Barbara? I did a double take. A celebrity right there in the Jackson Road Meijer. Mouse’s first nursery school teacher. Yes, I’m overstating that a bit. I run into various former teachers about twice a year and the Jackson Road Meijer (or any grocery store) is a perfectly reasonable place for me to run into a teacher. Heck, Mrs. Barbara is a moom too and nowadays a grandmoom, I believe. She needs groceries too. But anyway. She looked at me with tentative recognition. “I’m Mouse’s Mom,” I said. I didn’t bother to remind her what my name was. I don’t care if she remembers my name or not. Life is too short to get all offended because somebody you run into about once every five years has to go dredging for your name.

We chose the beach urchins’ pre-school by the cutosity of the building, I think. I didn’t have a clue about pre-schools, having never attended one myself. Not by The Commander’s choice, I have to say. I’m sure she’d’ve been glad to get me out of the house a few mornings a week. But there was no pre-school up in Siberia when I was that age so I had to make do with Sunday School and weekly ballet lessons. Sunday School was okay when I could manage to snag the red chair and I don’t know what to say about ballet except that I can probably still do the five basic positions. In whatever pair of clodhoppers I happen to be wearing and that includes my ugly, skinny, knobbly bare feet. Neither Sunday School nor ballet were particularly a “good fit” for me (grammar/syntax nazis??) but whaddya gonna do? That “good fit” thing is a phrase some of the more infuriating helicopter-type YAG parents used to throw at me. You know the ones. They have the incredibly gifted children that really belong out in Hollywood or someplace, not in some old podunk youth theatre guild. Sorry. I couldn’t resist that little bit of snark. Anyway.

Stone School turned out to be a great place for the beach urchins and we were there for five years, the two years Elizilla was there, the two years Mouse was there and an interim year when the GG was the president of the co-op board. We just couldn’t stay away. Mrs. Barbara is going on 20 years there!!! She and her co-teacher Annie both began there during our interim year, when Liz was in kindergarten and Mouse wasn’t old enough for pre-school. It wasn’t the smoothest start. The two previous teachers had been greatly loved and, honestly, there were some families who did not shift gracefully to new teachers. We were not among them. Sure, we were initially a bit sad that Mouse couldn’t have the same teachers as Liz did. But these women were wonderful teachers too, they just weren’t the *same* teachers. Life went on and the disgruntled families either grew accustomed to new teaching styles or aged out of the school. And Mrs. Barbara and Annie are STILL THERE!!! A remarkable almost-20 years later!

I always love telling Mouse’s old teachers that the quiet* shy little blonde mouse-child they used to teach is an accomplished college junior currently studying in Africa. Mouse runs Mouse’s life and she is largely responsible for her own success. But nobody can do it all alone and here’s a big thanks to the contributions of a couple of wonderful and much-loved teachers from a long time ago. Mrs. Barbara and Annie. And I may as well include Lizard’s pre-school teachers, Mary Ann and Breon, while I’m at it. Yay for Stone School Cooperative Nursery!!!

* Quiet in school anyway. Definitely not at home.

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