Part of my ongoing series of timelines. Preschool part one is here.
Two weeks after my brother is born, we move away. Away from my best friend and my school and my yellow room. We get rid of Ike, our big white dog. My parents cry, but I’m not sad because he’s so big and pushed me down once. My biggest concern is that my silver, blue and red swing set will get to come, too and that my dad will put it together right away.
We move to a new apartment because our house isn’t done being built yet. I still have my own room, but my brother’s changing table is in there, too. I remember wondering why on earth he cries so much. I like to sit at my little blue table, with little blue chairs and color and read and play. My mom makes me quiche and Jell-O and we watch Fraggle Rock. In the afternoons, my mom puts my brother in his stroller, and we walk around the park and pond in the middle of our apartment complex. Sometimes, we walk to the Jolly Market to pick up a few things. The owner always sneaks candy into the kids bags, and this becomes a running joke and conversation; a badge of honor for belonging to “our town.”
I start a new school. It’s different than my old one. There are more kids, of all ages and we’re all together. Outside, there is a big rocket ship with pretend controls that I like to play in. After school is over, I stay after to take dance classes. I love ballet, but the teacher plays weird whale sounds that I don’t like at all.
My life really isn’t about preschool at this point. It’s not the same as my old school. When I go home for the day, I go to our neighbor’s house so she can watch my brother and me until my parents return. One day, she refuses to let me hold my baby brother. I scream and cry and say my parents always let me take care of him, but she holds him. I remember being angry and sad and confused for the first time. On another day, I am running to their door when I slip and fall, and slide across hot sidewalk, scabbing my face and knees and arms. I pretty much hate doing to their house.
A few months later, we move to our new house. I lay under the kitchen table with Pink Bear, my blanket and my books, watching all of our old stuff get put in our new house. We pick out the bedrooms upstairs. I want the one next to my parents room, but they decide that the baby should have that one. I am instantly jealous.
A few days later, I help my dad put together my swing set, checking for roosters inside of the long poles, because I am convinced they have gotten inside of it. He lets me help, and when we are done, I swing, my legs kicking towards the sky, and towards the kitchen window of my brand new house, with my pretty room and my family safely inside. I am almost 5 years old.