So 30 years ago I was just about to turn 10. I remember a lot about this year. I would have been in 4th grade, Mrs. Skinner's class. I loved Mrs. Skinner. Mrs. Skinner wore long, flowing skirts and had long curly hair. Mrs. Skinner read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" to us. I had already read the Narnia series, so I was especially delighted to have our teacher share this love. In fourth grade, we had the corner classroom at Prospect Ave. Elementary School in Geneva, NY. (This school is now an apartment building.) Mrs. Skinner let the boys build a giant cardboard house in the corner of the room. Laura Hibbard and I had graduated beyond the realm of reading groups and were allowed to read whatever we wanted at our desks, while the other kids went through the arduous reading group hour.
In fourth grade Michelle Sheehan called me a teacher's pet. She would sneer this at me whenever she could. (This escalated until 7th grade, when Dawn Derosa tried to beat me up daily.) When I was 10, Amy Wilson mesmerized us in the coatroom with her horrifying tale of when her sister "got her friend." That this was sure to happen to us eventually was beyond comprehension.
At age 10 I was in love with Mickey Thornton, the boy down the street. I was also in love with Johnny Gage of "Emergency." At age 10 I had the run of the neighborhood. On one side of me were Doug and Jeff, my partners in crime. On the other side were Karen and Kim, my beloved playmates. At age 10 I spent the night frequently with Pam, who would try to drown me just a year later. She had every single Fisher Price house ever made, every single Barbie doll and accessory, and even a dual VCR. Pam's mom worked, which was something no one else's mom did (except Amy Wilson's mom--and she was our one and only divorcee). Pam had April Green shag carpet and a collection of Gund stuffed animals.
Age 10 and the world was beginning to be somewhat confusing, and bigger. If only I could have seen into the future, 30 years down the line, I sure would have felt more at ease. If I'd known how lovely my life would be, I could have smiled at Michelle when she called me "teacher's pet."