Excerpt from a short diary I kept when I was seven years old (in the 2nd grade):
My name is Laura. I live in San Jose. I’m 7 years old. I’m in 2nd grade. My teachers are Mrs Wong and Mrs Fenner. Mrs Wong’s name before she was married was Miss Ong, so she just had to add a “W.”
I like art time. And I like recess, too. I like my teachers because they are nice and they play games with us. I like lunch time and math too.
My friends are Elizabeth, Cabrelle, Amy, Jennifer, Julie L, Julie D, Danielle, Brandi, Brandy, Jennifer E, Elisa, Mark, Henry, Mai, Gopi, Gina, Brian C, Brian W, Gary, Mark, and Diego.
On Monday I go to Ballet. My teacher is Gloria. On Wednesday I have sharing, mouth wash, and music. On Thursdays I got to motor perception. We go under things and walk on a balance beam and do a lot of stuff on it. We do rolls on a mat and pretend to be animals.
My favorite book is “You’re Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Snoopy.”
My mom told me that I always look down at the ground when I walk. She said some day I would find a dollar bill. On December 10, 1982 I was playing on the playground and I found 5 dollars! I turned it in to the office and Mrs Cruz said, “If no one claims it you can have it next Friday the 17th.” And I got it the next Friday the 17th.
Wednesday was “mouth wash day” in school? How random! Strange that I included mouth wash but not Show and Tell or other similarly more exciting bits of my schedule.
Life was pretty simple in second grade. Ballet was a huge part of my life. I was more mature and getting better at dance, but it had not yet become the six-days-a-week psycho ballet of the next year and a half.
I love looking back at the things that I recorded in my diary and considered important. Like the fact that I listed twenty one friends. I suppose I wanted to include everyone in my list so that no one would get upset. (I was a born pleaser) The truth is, Elizabeth was my best friend. With our imaginations, we had many adventures together.
Seven may just be one of the first years that I started forming solid memories. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I started writing when I was seven. I can remember deciding to have a Halloween-themed birthday party. And I can remember playing on the beach (and a particularly large rock just beyond the shore line in Lake Tahoe). Since we spent every Summer at Lake Tahoe, it’s hard for me to differentiate between one summer and another. I do, however, remember the big rock being perfectly uncovered the summer when I was seven. Sometimes the water level was either too low or too high for the rock to be enjoyable. That year, it was perfect.
Did you have a traditional vacationing spot, too, or did you visit lots of places every Summer like my family does now?
I’m recording my youth, one year per week. Come back next week to find out what life was like in 3rd grade (age eight). Memories start to get more specific from now on!
PS–my mom still has that Strawberry Shortcake bowl hat I received for my 7th birthday and we use it every time we visit her. The kids love the size, but they’ll love it even more when I show them this picture of when it was new.
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