Halloween is almost upon us. One of my earliest, distinct memories of Halloween is from kindergarten. I do not recall a lot of specifics of what I learned in kindergarten. It seems there was a wooden shoe that we used to learn how to tie shoelaces. I remember a large circle with pictures on the floor that told us where to sit. I do not recall a lot of specifics. Mrs. Wilson, who taught at my school for decades was a nice lady. Based on how many of those that began their formal education under her tutelage turned out, she must have been an excellent kindergarten teacher.
But I do remember Halloween. I guess that would have been about eight weeks into the school year. I was looking forward to the day because we were told that we could wear our costumes to school. My costume was one of those cheap ones that came in a box and consisted of a thin plastic mask with a little elastic band that never made it through Trick or Tread and a one piece garment made of very thin material that you wore over your clothes. You would put in your arms and legs and then tie it in the back like a hospital gown. My costume was a devil – no idea if I picked that one out or if my Mother may have chosen it for absolutely no particular reason at all. Imagine if a five year-old showed up at school in a devil costume today: the school would be put on lock down, the parents would be arrested and the kid would be suspended, But this was a different day and I was excited. I was so excited I could not wait (remember when you were young and an hour seemed to last for a week and now a month seems like a day?) Anyway. I was so excited to go; however, I was in afternoon class, so I had to wait all the way until after lunch and recess. I think I even went a little early while the kids were out at recess because I really was excited. So there I was all dressed up and ready to share Halloween with all my long-term friends who I had known for an entire two months. Then my bubble burst. Not all the kids wore costumes to school, only the kindergartners did. So while I was waiting for recess to end so that I could go into my class I was informed by an older and more worldly-wise child, probably a second grader, that she was too old to wear a costume to school and that kindergarten babies were made of gravy. While I have always had a taste for gravy, especially over mashed potatoes, I perceived that this was not intended as a compliment. The result was that my feelings were hurt and I was and most likely scarred me for life, given that this is one of my clear memories of this entire year of my life. I think I started to cry and when Mrs. Wilson came to the door to let us in for the afternoon session, she took me in before the other kids so I could get my act together and appear more stoic to all the other costume clad kindergartners. The rest of the day continued without further incident and also with nothing else memorable.
There is no great moral to this story. But be advised to pick out your costumes carefully and do not get too excited. This Halloween will come and go just like all the others so have fun no matter your age..