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