liam and i were talking the other day about our childhoods and i shared something with him he never knew before. i don't know that i had ever spoken it out loud to anyone.
one of my favorite memories of my early years took place in 3rd grade. i blogged about my 2nd grade experience here and re-reading it brought back so many memories for me.
my 3rd grade teacher was mrs. morris. she was also my kindergarten teacher. as i spoke about this time to liam i realized how much this woman meant to me. kindergarten was a wonderful experience for me, mrs. morris made it safe and fun and filled with wonder. i was very happy to have her again in 3rd grade. when i spoke of this to liam i realized that meant she was my teacher before the rape, and after.
i told him of the highlight of my acting career. every year the school would have a christmas program. this was a highly creative school and it was far more than 9 christmas carols sung by each grade - each class had a wonderful production of their own and mrs. morris decided that year we would base our production on the 12 days of christmas. now there were 21 kids in our class - so to fit them all into '12' she had to be very creative.
a low kind of puppet stage was placed in front of all of us and when it was time for our portion of the song we were to stand up sing our part and perform the small routine we had learned. you know the song, the five golden rings is the feature of the carol - it's held out and repeated so many times in the song. i told liam how amazed i am now that i was chosen to be the '5 golden rings girl'. there were so many in our class who were more popular, fit the pretty child mold and were far bigger hams for the part. somehow she gave it to me.
i think it was because she saw the change. between the girl she knew 3 years prior and the girl that i had become. i think she saw the spark that was gone from my eyes, that i needed greatly to be the '5 golden rings girl' and feel feminine and honored. my 'costume' was a glamorous long formal glove that went all the way up my little arm, and on each finger (thumb included) i had a large chunky ring of costume jewelry. when it was my turn i stood, held out my hand to display my rings and belted out 'five golden rings'. standing between the 4 calling birds and the 6 geese a laying i felt like a princess.
i'm sure she has passed on, but mrs. morris is one person i hope i meet in heaven. her nurture and care of that little red haired girl meant the world to me and i am so grateful for her involvement in my life.