The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Karen's memory of her first day of school.  Written by Matthew R. Smith, May 2014.  Karen said:

I'm five years old, running on the sidewalk.  My legs are short so I have to slow and leap with all my might over each crack, which I imagine are as wide as canyons.  I land safely and begin running again, my new schoolbag and my blonde braid bouncing.  Ahead, a crossing guard has her hand up, stopping traffic.  "Hi Karen!" she says.

"Hi Aunt Doris!"

I run across the white-planked bridge of the crosswalk...and now I see it - the school!    And now something I don't expect happens - I'm afraid.  The school building is much bigger than I'd imagined it.  I'm not going in there.  They can't make me.  And so long as I don't go in, I won't ever have to have my first day of school.

The First Day of School

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Karen's memory of her first day of school. Written by Matthew R. Smith, May 2014. Karen said: "It's funny to think about now because I spent so much of my life in a school, first as a student, and then for years as a teacher.  When you're a kid, you have to strain up on your tippy-toes to drink from the water fountain, but thirty years go by and somehow that same water fountain is down by your knees."

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Recorded by Matthew Ross Smith on September 2, 2014
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