The First Day of the Rest of My Life

The date was June 20, 1973. My first year of school had sadly come to a close. I was faced with an inevitable reality ... kindergarten was too great to last forever. All those days coloring pictures, playing store with the lifelike props made by our teacher, planting marigolds in milk cartons, storytelling, and napping were over. Alas. The only consolation was that we were getting a big sendoff -- Kindergarten Graduation.

I remember how we five-year olds labored for days making our own graduation caps out of bright yellow construction paper. Our small hands worked tirelessly to cut and glue the components of our very own symbol of progress. Now the day was finally upon us.

It was a breezy morning when we made our grand entrance into the arena as our proud families observed with beaming faces. There on the paved part of the playground, we each took our seat in the large circle of chairs to listen to the sobering words of our teacher as she prepared us to enter the real world of grade school. Our short attention spans were further reduced by the distraction of watching, one by one, the graduation caps of fellow classmates float off and scatter throughout the arena ... our little paper hats were no match for the occasional wafts of windy air. I could rest easy, however. My very wise mother had foreseen this calamity and fastened my cap securely with bobby pins before we left home.

Now the big moment had arrived. Mrs. Moniz called our names, one student at a time in alphabetical order, to come up and receive the diploma. My heart fluttered with excitement. Why, oh why, did my last name have to start with "L"? After what seemed like an eternity, I heard it -- "Deborah Luz." I walked up to the table with a spring in my step and a smile that stretched my little face almost beyond its capabilities. Hearing the click of my parents' camera, I reached out and gripped my precious diploma as the teacher shook my hand to congratulate me.

As pride welled up in my heart I sighed and returned to my seat, thinking "Could there ever be a better day than this one?"


Copyright 1995-present, by Deborah McGeorge, St. Augustine, Florida



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