Kindergarten Karina, circa 1974
My youngest daughter had a screening for Kindergarten yesterday at the local school. The Pre-K and K wing of the school filled with teachers, specialists and other support staff mingling with appropriately apprehensive children and their proud well-heeled parents. I don’t know if it is a Massachusetts thing or just unique to this town, but a screening before the beginning of school was new to us and yet now makes complete sense. Imagine having 50+ students coming in and not having any idea what services they might need, what learning styles work best for their personalities. Of course that also assumes you have the staff and funds to attend to a myriad of needs, something I know is unique to this town and others like it. But while my kids are settling in nicely here, my husband doesn’t totally hate living in the woodland creature-laden forest, our rental is still standing, and I tripped and fell into what I hope will be a long if not unprosperous career, I still find myself trying to figure out where I fit socially. The people I’ve met are wonderful, but they are unlike most everyone I’ve ever befriended while living in this state. Instead, they are more reminiscent of the people I used to work for when I was “the help.” And perhaps that’s it. After all this time, education, work, travel, and life experience, I return to my native Massachusetts and still think of myself as somehow less than worthy, an imposter trying to fit into a scene in which I don’t belong, an interloper. But that’s on me to fix I guess since nobody else seems to think that way. Funny that you can go so far in life and then hit an imaginary wall of your own making. Living here again has revealed a host of surprising things. Most surprising? Not only did I discover I still have a lot of emotional baggage, I discovered it was geographically-specific and had been patiently waiting for me to come back and claim it.