My first day at school in El Monte, the teacher put me in the lowest reading group in the class.  I read so well, that she tried me in the middle group after recess, and then in the top group after lunch.  I looked at the words on the page and started reading, “Houses, houses, houses.”  She told me to look at the word again and my eyes lit up as I corrected myself, “Horses!”

I drove the play yard monitors crazy by doing things like going down the slide backwards and parcipating in turf wars with the boys in the rough grassy area in the far rear.  They would knock me down and I would get up and knock them down.  I liked the rough and tumble.

However, it was also the place where Mickey, my mother, re-entered my life.  I had not seen her since I was two years old.  The day that she came to visit, she sat me up on the counter in the kitchen.  It had pale yellow tile with an edge of black tile and thick while grouting.

“I know you don’t remember me, but I’m your mother.”