top of page


A Kindergarten Mishap

I try to do writing prompts every morning. Here's one I did yesterday morning.

The prompt: Describe what you looked like at age 5:

Surely my mother must have gotten the memo, the email, the fax, the message in morse code, that came in when I was five from God.

Dear Lynn,

Don’t cut Jennifer’s hair short. It will cause her great insecurities in adulthood.

Hope things are well.



I had freckles in my ears, on my nose, across my cheeks and in places most people don’t have freckles (according to Shannon Biggen, class bully). I had big lips and thick boy-short brown hair and a cowlick right up front that screamed cheap hair gel.

The day my picture was taken in kindergarten, my mother put me in a bright blue and white frilly dress.

Two things I hated most at age five. No, three: frilly, dresses, and pictures.

And I was an awkward kid with lots of questions. As if I was unaware of my age and my stature in this world (right, like a kid at 5 has stature) I’d ask anyone who would answer me:

-How old are you? -How many children do you have? -What do you do for a living? -Will you go to the store today? What will you buy?

My mother would say, Jennifer, don’t be nosey. It’s rude.

Now, in my five-year-old mind, I wasn’t being nosey, I was curious.

Kindergarten was a rough year. Aside from the boy-short hair, Shannon Biggen’s constant ‘boy’ comments to me, I decided one day that my Care Bear underwear were overrated and had to go. I was tired of feeling restricted. So that morning when my mother did the usual--did you brush your teeth, did you put on underwear—I lied—about the underwear part.

It was later in the day that I jumped on the swing, spread my legs and launched myself into space, that Miss Lowery promptly called me off the swings, called my mother and explained that I needed to wear undergarments when I wore a dress.

And this is how my life continued, just an unfortunate set of misunderstandings that could be explained if someone would have just asked.

How I got from my looks at age five to running free with nothing under my dress, I have no idea. A glimpse into the mind of a writer, I guess. And, too, don't take yourself so seriously today. Also, don't wear underwear and ride the swings, metaphorically speaking, of course. ( :

bottom of page