Mommy’s Piggy Tales: The Fourth of July and Second Grade

 Janna of Mommy’s Piggy Tales began a project to share our youth with our children. Every Thursday, I will tell a story about my childhood as if I were telling it to my children. At the end of this project, I’ll have a collection of stories about my childhood for my children to keep, and hopefully treasure.

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 The Fourth of July was always so much fun. Every year, the town held a big picnic out by the lake. I remember being able to drink a pop out of a can…usually orange pop. We never got to drink pop at home! We played games — our favorite was a fishing game. You threw your fishing line over the top of a big, stretched out hanging sheet. Somehow a toy was attached to your fishing line and thrown back to you! We played at the playground with all our friends, and eagerly waited for it to get dark. While we were waiting, we would watch an old cartoon on a big screen. The cartoon was always faint and could barely be seen as we waiting for the sunlight to fade. When it was finally dark, we would sit back on blankets and watch the fireworks being shot off by the volunteer fire department on the other side of the lake.

August finally came, and with it the beginning of school. I always loved starting school in the fall. My second grade teacher was expecting her first baby in January. My mom, already the mother of three, was friends with her and held a baby shower for my teacher at our house. We watched as she made a gag gift for the expectant mother…a cloth diaper with a present of peanut butter and mustard inside!

For the second half of that year, a young teacher took over our class. I have absolutely no memory of her! Sometime during my years of teaching second grade, my mom confided in me — she was upset that I was to have two different teachers that year. Clearly, I didn’t suffer, but perhaps Mom’s feelings pushed me toward the decision to take a year’s leave of absence when I became pregnant. I didn’t feel it would be fair to my students or a maternity leave teacher to have a baby right at parent/teacher conference time in November. And so I had a leisurely pregnancy with my first daughter. Little did I know how much work motherhood would turn out to be!

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14 Replies to “Mommy’s Piggy Tales: The Fourth of July and Second Grade”

  1. Love this…and your decision to take a leave so other children didn't have two teachers…yes motherhood is a lot of work and a load of joy!!!Enjoying the journey and getting to know you,Janette

  2. Loved reading this today! Years ago, I was the long-term sub called in for maternity leave teachers. Most of the time I enjoyed working with the students because the regular teachers were well prepared and organized. That always helped and was a blessing! How special that the baby shower was at your house, but that's funny that ya'll had a gag gift!

  3. Oh, I love this! Such a great memory. I'm going to participate the next time that she does this, since I'm behind already.

  4. Thankfully, I got pregnant at the end of my school year, so I had a very leisurely first pregnancy, too. I never had a teacher leave in the middle of the school year, so I can imagine that it did make your mom nervous. Glad you turned out okay anyway!! 😉

  5. I still love this idea of storytelling. There were a lot of teachers that went on leave at the school I used to teach at. One left at the end of the year and the sub had to take over for exam prep and everything… but family comes first so I get it.

  6. What great memories of your 4th of July. I remember catching prizes via those very same fishing rods over a wall or sheet! :)I hope you have an equally great 4th of July celebration this weekend as well! 🙂

  7. Some things just don't make a big impact on a child. I remember my dad being away from home for two years. He only came home during the weekend while he was training to be an army accountant in some far off town during the week. I never missed him, it was just the way it was.

  8. I love all the details of your 4th of July celebration. My younger brother always LOVED those fishing games, I was excited when I was finally old enough to be on the other side of the sheet putting the prizes on the line.

  9. Fun, fun, fun! I remember fishing that way at the school carnival.Your mother sounds so wonderful. I'm glad we get to learn about her too through your stories.

  10. Our Fourth of July's were always a great time too! And funny we rarely got pop either, but when we did it was Grape or Orange Crush!

  11. Loved reading this today! Years ago, I was the long-term sub called in for maternity leave teachers. Most of the time I enjoyed working with the students because the regular teachers were well prepared and organized. racing games for boys

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