Trace (Daily Prompt)

Gonna try today’s Daily Prompt, Trace.

I can trace my problems with mental illness back as far as kindergarten. I hated kindergarten, oh God how I hated it. I cried and screamed every day I had to go. I’d cry so much I’d make myself sick.

I was always afraid my parents were going to take me somewhere, leave me there and never come back, and for me the place that I feared that the most was kindergarten. I don’t remember participating in normal kindergarten activities, although I guess I must have or they woulda kicked me out. What I remember is that, come the end of the day, they let us all out in the yard to play. But I didn’t play. I stood at the fence and watched the road, waiting for my dad to come get me.

My dad, recognizing my plight, gave me a pocket watch, and told me that when the little hand was on the 4 and the big hand was on the 12, he was on his way and would be there soon.

I have an actual memory after that. Me standing by the fence, watch in hand, waiting for my dad. There were two little girls behind me. One asked the other, “Why does he stand there like that every day?” The other said, “I don’t know, but at least he doesn’t cry anymore.” So I can surmise that I was crying every day I watched for my dad until he gave me the watch.

I wish I still had that watch, but I don’t know what became of it. I’m not sure how I got over the problems I had in kindergarten. We moved from Mississippi to Indiana, and I started first grade up there. I went through fourth grade without incident before we moved again–but that’s another story.

My dad and I grew apart as I grew up, and I’m not really sure why. He died in 2008, and we weren’t on speaking terms–at least, not on my end. I think about kindergarten and the watch and how he used to do little cartoons for me–dad going to work, dad coming back home, stuff like that. I don’t have any of the cartoons either. I don’t really have much of anything that belonged to my dad or that he made or anything. My family’s not a big one for heirlooms, I guess. It’s a shame, really, but what can you do? Things turn out how they turn out, and sometimes they just take on a trajectory of their own that you either can’t, won’t or don’t change until something big happens.

That’s all for now, I suppose. Thanks for reading. =)


2 thoughts on “Trace (Daily Prompt)

  1. I am a substitute teacher and I have done Kindergarten many times. I never had any children, so I did not know what to expect with the little ones the first time I did this. I was always very cautious of the students, because I was afraid that I might end up accidentally stepping on one of them. The worst part turned out to be all the bending over that I had to do to help them tie their shoes. My dad used to tell this story about him crying in Kindergarten till his older sister gave him a tiny American Flag to wave in school and your story reminded me of that. Thanks for telling your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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