My favorite question to answer whenever I stood up to introduce myself in front of a new class was "What school did you come from?" Well teach, do you want the school before this one? Or how about the school before that? Or the school before that one? I mean, I could go on for 10 different schools across the state. Why was this my favorite question to answer? Simply because the look of confusion on kids faces who have been living in the same town since they were conceived, is nothing short of priceless.
The next question was predictably always, "Why?" There are many creative reasons I could have used. Military brat, foster kid, mom had a seriously important job in a seriously important company that kept her bouncing around doing seriously important things. I could have said I was part of a traveling circus. Instead I kept it simple and sweet, "My mom likes to move around a lot." It keeps the curiousity flowing.
Laurel Lakes Elementary was my first, and longest attending school. Kindergarten through third grade I roamed those halls, it was also where I decided that writing would be my niche. Then again, I also thought I wanted to be a lawyer... and a supermodel... and a doctor. Typical kid, what can I say? Anyway, things were pretty normal for the majority of our stay in Bluewood, home to Laurel Lakes Elementary. We had a two bedroom apartment, decently sized and clean. My kindergarten year all the bills got paid and Mom always got me off the school bus. That dream was short-lived however, and in first grade reality - and my story - began.
In the fall of my first grade year, I got off the bus to a locked front door and no car in the driveway. I sat outside my front door and read the book I had in my backpack, Junie B. Jones something-or-other... pretty sure I had already read the whole series at least twice by then. Hours went by and the sun went down, but still no Mom. Finally I knocked on our neighbors door; it was cold and I had to pee. When she opened her door and I explained the situation, she gave me a look that I thought was anger. I now realize that look was worry, and sadness. This same thing happened twice more, until finally I found myself getting off the bus stop everyday, and into my MeeMom's big red van.
MeeMom was my Daddy's Mom and she spoiled me rotten. When Mom started to go missing more and more often, MeeMom took over. She went to report card meetings, school plays, took me school shopping, and every weekend we would go down to her shore house. I saw Mom maybe once a week, if I was lucky. Whenever asked, MeeMom simply stated, "Mommy is working, she can't pick you up right now."