The year I turned seven we moved. My dad got a fancy job with the government in the big ol' metropolis of Regina. We packed up one day in November and arrived like thieves in the night. I still remember going in the back door of the Vagabond Inn (which is now a Travellodge, but has the same carpets) and sneaking down the hallway to our rooms. It felt a lot like we were refuges hiding in the dark of night, but now when I look back it is more likely that the sun set early in the winter, and that we were all tired from travel and impatient to get to bed.
Yes, ruffles on my shirt, white stockings and tan sandals. What of it?
I had a dream a few months before we moved. In my dream, I sat on the floor mat beside my bed. It was a latch hook rug -- white with pink roses. Oh, and it could fly. At the time I was sure it was real, but now my jaded self admits it might have been a dream. But I sat on my mat and I flew. I flew to my new house and I took a tour. I picked out which room would be mine and I looked at the neighbourhood. I was very calm about moving after that because I had already been there. The night we got to the house, I knew exactly where my room was.
Me in my room. Yes, I still had a blankie at age 7.
They didn't make me put it away until I was 12.
The next day, I started school. I wore my best dress because at my school it was cool to wear dresses. I walked into my class that first day (after snottily announcing to the principal I was not 17 like he thought) and landed in the middle of big city terror. The girls wore pants. PANTS! And the boys had weird haircuts with strange little braided tails. The teacher looked like a hippopotamus and was lining kids up in front of the class.
Hippo Teacher was demonstrating the difference between small and big. A little boy stood at one end. There were three girls in the middle and then a tall lanky blond boy. The teacher happily decided to include me and was pleased to find out that I was over a head taller than the tallest boy in the class. I stood beside the blond boy and was mortified. The littlest boy at the other end peered around our classmates in awe. "You're HUGE." he said in an awed whisper.
This was going to be a great year.