a rolled up memory
Kindergarden was spent at Ed Smith School in Syracuse New York and I was lucky enough to have my Grandma teaching 3rd grade up the hall. She returned to school for a new teaching certificate and went to work in 1956 after being widowed and needing to care for her son, my Dad. When life turns upside down we are faced with the opportunity to collapse or to forge ahead and she moved on full force. A student, remembering her fondly, contacted my Dad decades after she passed away, appreciating the impact she had on him as a young child.
I remembered the Ho-Ho's
Grandma brought the rolled chocolate cakes, wrapped in waxy chocolate and protected by thin aluminum foil into my classroom by the box load to share at snack time. We each enjoyed the treat differently, some unrolling the log, some nibbling the chocolate and most just chomping down the treat. This was a time when we did not worry about preservatives or food allergies.
When I went back to school to get a Masters in Education, I though about the Ho-Hos. There are other rolled, creme-filled chocolate covered cakes on the market, but none of them had the power to evoke the memory of my Grandmother, the teacher.
They are no longer
in a thin aluminium coat
but the waxy chocolate
is similar enough
to allow memories of Kindergarten at Ed Smith Elementary School to flood back
and remind me of the strength that we have
when we need to move forward
despite the circumstances
put before us.