Years ago, I adorned my little six-year-old body in a pair of jean overalls and a purple tee and hit the black top. (See photo.)
First day of first grade.
I learned a lot that year. Mrs. Friis (pronounced “freeze”..and her husband’s name was Sonny. PLAY ON WORDS!) worked to teach me how to read faster, improve my vocabulary, use scissors, walk…I really don’t remember what you do in first grade. But I DO remember the duck tank. Whenever we would do something worth rewarding (like help that idiot tie his/her shoe) we would receive a plastic cut out of a duck. Enough ducks could earn you prizes from the duck tank or better yet..Buddy Day. Buddy Day was the day when you chose one friend and the two of you sat in desks over on another wall, got a special lunch, and spent the entire day together.
This was my favorite because I could choose Kathryn or Tiffany, and leave all those OTHER kids in the dust.
Sure, I may sound like I was excluding others, or being a brat. But that’s only because I was excluding others and being a brat. But I was also keeping my sights on the future.
Ever since 1995, my parents have heard that Kathryn, Tiffany, and I spend too much time together. Apparently friendships made when you are 4 don’t remain that strong as you get older.
But to all those disbelieving souls out there (elementary school teachers, lunch ladies, camp counselors) I would just like to say: you were wrong. I don’t think my friendship has changed at all, except grow stronger. And what they don’t teach you in first grade, is that sometimes friendships last for decades and decades, and the work and effort is more than worth it. And that ducks can really help a girl out. Thank you duck tank ducks for helping me prove my first grade teacher wrong. And if I had to have buddy day today, I’d still pick these two losers over the others. Even that cute blonde boy with the FUBU shirt and nice teeth.