I moved into first grade. I was so excited to be a real elementary student. My teacher was Mrs. Burke. She was an older woman but I remember that she was nice. She worked part-time for a local jeweler that had a famous jingle in the area. She taught us their famous Christmas jingle and had us recite it back to her from memory. It was fun. We all had a good time with it. She always had a relaxing story time. I had a bad habit of falling asleep. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep a lot during story time. We were also learning how to write. I began writing with my left hand. My teacher, being old-fashioned, try to correct me. She must have sent a letter home to my parents because I remember that Dave also tried to correct me. They basically told me that writing left-handed is wrong. Right handedness is the only correct way to write. Needless to say, I still write with my right hand to this day but I have always had terrible penmanship.
My mother became pregnant with my brother when I was six. I also started spending more time with my grandmother (Dave’s biological mother). I imagine it was because my mother wanted me out of the house so she could rest or get things done. She was a little crazy in her own way but she was a sweet, well-meaning woman. I still love her to this day and I know that she loves me. We had conversations that seemed to go on forever. She loved talking to me! I began to open up to her about the “touching” that Dave was doing to me. At this time I still didn’t understand that anything was wrong. I don’t think that she wanted to alarm me so she didn’t really say anything but rather just let me talk and asked a few questions.
I ended up being held back for first grade. I just wasn’t “mature enough” to move on. We also moved into that little house and I did first grade again but in a new school.
In my teens, Dave had told me that it was about this time that he had planned on splitting up with my mother. His story is that their marriage was one out of convenience. He was in no way in love with her and in fact despised her. They had moved to Kansas to run the steak house and at some point left and came back to OKC. They had rented that apartment for a couple of years and he was ready to go as soon as the lease was up. His story is that he came home from work one night and told her that they needed to talk and he had something to tell her. Well, so did she. He told her to go first. “I’m pregnant.” He was shocked and set aback because he had no intentions of having kids with her. According to my mother, he suggested that she get an abortion. She had done that once in her life and wasn’t going down that road again. He never told her of his plans and stuck around for the kid (my brother) since he had already lost two kids in his previous divorce.