Pint-sized gowns

I sat through the planning meeting for thekindergarten graduation convinced I must be dead inside because I wasn't crying yet over gowns and tassels and Pinterest party decs or even over my baby, who hasn't been a baby for a few minutes now.

We hustled to the graduation after I barely showered, nearly died of Lego impalement and carried younger one shoeless into the church where I sat in the empty pew for introverts who score low on the parenting small talk test.

The pint-sized gowns filed in, a million iPhones captured their well-orchestrated pairings and twinkling smiles some with open spots where baby teeth once parked.

I sat wrangling my younger and shushing my mate held attention for sweet songs and slideshows, corrected the grammar in my head of speeches and prayers because sometimes I get in my own way, even sitting down.

My mate snapped the obligatory diploma take and transfer; You made it, kid! Except not for first grade looms. Even from here I see sandtraps on both sides of the fairway.

My mate handed me the phone and then I saw it, the worst injustice, solidified, crystallized, preserved there so plain I started to cry.

Children are born each day into abject poverty, to arms that abuse and smother, to homes where hunger is real little feet run bare, not on purpose.


And here is mine, embraced, just as each child betasseled and begowned tonight at the graduation--where I graduated from overprivileged to overwhelmed by the love these shepherds in skirts show our messy pints, cherishing their persons not always so refined, filing in two-by-two, loving them through difficult consonants, vowels, holding their wobbly hands that write names between two pale blue lines that remind me of the two pale blue lines that once changed my life six years ago on a different kind of test.