Fourth grade was first year we moved that I remember actually being effected by it socially. From 1st through half of 4th grade we had been living at my grandma's house, not far from my school. I had so many wonderful teachers at the school, and great friends from my years there, I don't know that I was 'popular' but I was comfortable for certain. Then we moved as my mom and stepfather tried to reconcile, he even bought me a puppy at Christmas and my little sister a nice CD player, which I always suspected as a way to get back on my mom's good side. And apparently it worked, as we moved closer to their job, a computer type of business (think Kinko's)about half an hour away.
My sister and I began attending a school we had passed many time in the past and always thought looked old fashioned and run down compared to the nice, new and clean facility our prior elementary school had been. I don't think it was a bad part of town, but the school hadn't been updated in a long time, evident by one example- they still used the card system in the library instead of computers. Our old school had taught us how to use it, but only as a formality because we rarely ever had too.
Growing up at my grandma's house, I remember always being jealous of the kids who lived so close to school they could walk. We were close enough, but not quite that close. My feelings towards that all changed when we had moved just up the road from this new old school, and now I actually did have no other choice but to walk. It was also the first time I had to worry about carrying a house key with me since my grandma didn't initially live with us, so we came home to a big empty house most days.
It was another big blue house, one of the biggest and nicest I remember living in, with a huge fenced in back yard and a basketball court too. I remember being excited about it, but then rarely going out to play. I was definitely an indoors kind of girl.
As for school, I was in a split class. I was in the older group of 4th graders which was just a handful of kids compared to the 3rd graders in our class. I don't know if its just a part of the 'oldest sibling' syndrome, but I was very upset at the fact that I was better friends with the younger 'little' kids then those my own age. Apparently at this school, by 4th grade most students had already learned about the 'birds and the bees' but I hadn't yet. I was considered very naive by my 4th grade classmates, and I always felt so small in that class. Thankfully it was the one and only split class I was ever in, but it began a pattern of a lack of self confidence in myself which continued and contributed to the rest of my school years.
At home, it didn't take very long for my mom to decide that her marriage was beyond reconciliation. I barely remember my stepfather being around when we lived in that house. One night, I think it was somewhat stormy outside, so my mom decided we would all sleep on the pullout sofa in the living room for fun. I don't remember if it was just me and my sister Carolyn or if the 2 youngest of my siblings were there too, but we waited on the couch as my mom ran upstairs to get some linens. Then there was an earthquake. Not surprising for the area, and to a kid it was great fun! And from upstairs my mom yelled down to us- "Hey girls, stop rough housing, you're shaking the whole house!" And we were just sitting on the couch laughing at our little secret because we knew it had been an earthquake and she didn't! We told her when she came back down, but I remember wondering how she could possibly have thought it was us since everyone knows you can't shake the house from the downstairs, just the upstairs!!
Well at the end of the school year, since my mom could no longer afford to for us to live in such a big house, it was time for another move. This time to some apartments in a different part of the city, where we would go to a brand new school, and I couldn't be happier!
This is the 6th post in a series of 12 I am doing to record my youth for my children and grandchildren to read someday at