Sunday, May 21, 2006

Daydreaming in Second Grade

Ever since I was little I’ve been reading about daydreams. They’re described in stories in schoolbooks, in novels, even in picture books. Always it seems there’s a child in school looking out the window at a blue sky thinking of what he or she might be doing. I never did that.

I never knew how to daydream. I tried. I tried more than once even. I tried especially hard to get the hang of daydreaming when I was in second grade. I was all of seven years old. I thought it was time I knew how. I'd start to think of a place that I'd rather be. Then . . .

I’d get distracted and start thinking about other things.

I’d start thinking about what you’re supposed to be thinking about when you daydream. I’d wonder whether I was daydreaming correctly. I’d look at the kids who sat between me and the classroom window−I never seemed to sit near the window for some reason−and wonder what they daydreamed about. I was sure that they must know the right way to daydream. Other kids seemed to know the right way to do almost everything.

Then I’d think about what their daydreams would be and see all of these Disney-like pictures of kids playing baseball and saying words like “swell” and “gee.” Those day dreams made a perfectly beautiful day seem so . . . so . . . boring.

Then I’d be distracted again wondering what it was like to actually be those kids. Soon enough I would figure out that there would still be a me sitting in my desk wondering what that kid in that other desk was thinking.

Either way, I guess you could say I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on in the front of the classroom.

I suppose my teacher would have told my mother I was daydreaming.

Really I wasn’t. I was just thinking.
−me strauss Letting me be


Anonymous said...

My parents called it 'wool gathering'. I did it a lot ... but to me day dreaming was about seeing a dream while you were awake. I never could do that, so never thought I was day dreaming. But I often got caught up in my own thoughts and wondering why every other kid could do things I couldn't. Being a child, for me, wasn't easy. I wish my whole heart that the 'me' that is alive now could go back and help the 'me' that I was then. But then I think we all feel that way.

Lovely post.

Anonymous said...

ROFL same difference!

To me a daydream has always been a little, internal adventure into 'what if' - nothing more than paying attention to postulations instead of to the subject in front of you.

Perhaps you thought you never knew how to daydream, when in fact you never stopped? here have to be two states for a comparison.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi mam Mouse,
I know what you mean about thinking that daydreaming meant meaning having a daytime dream. I thought that too. I sometimes feel like can go help the me that that I was then. I tell her that I can protect her that I'm bigger now and I can take care of what used to hurt her.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Yeah, Cheryl,
I know one kid's daydream is another kid's thinking. There I was thinking I was doing it all wrong, when in fact I was doing more of it probably than anyone. It just didn't seem very dreamy to me. That's all :)

Anonymous said...

me strauss, I love this story with it's wonderful secret meaning. When I was in Grade 2, if I'd have heard this story, it would have been even more special. And I would have listened carefully, and then it would have set me thinking, and thinking, and thinking. When 6-yr-old Grandaughter comes to visit, I must read her this story. I know she will love it too.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Roberta,
I can imagine that in second grade you were doing much the same things that I was--thining about thinking and about what other kids were thinking too. I bet your granddaughter is a wonder. :)