Missing graduation but celebrating our great nation’s 242nd birthday

By | July 5, 2018 5:40 am

Playl’s Ponderings – By Steve Playl

Katie Grace was not allowed to graduate from preschool with her class. No she didn’t flunk preschool! She excels in everything she does. Let’s not forget whose granddaughter we are talking about here…hear? The reason K.G. didn’t get to participate in the ceremony, walk across the stage, etc. was that she was born too late. She’s big for her age. She’s brilliant. She’s talented. She’s congenial. She plays well with others, and she is so stinking cute…but she was born 11 days after the deadline to be in kindergarten next year, according to her state’s mandated date.

So, since she can’t start kindergarten in the fall, she was “held back.” It isn’t fair…but life is often unfair. K.G. handled the situation quite well. Probably no one ever counseled her this way, and she probably could not articulate it this way, but she was able to demonstrate that “when you can’t change the situation, you just have to make the best of the situation.”

Some would say, “You have to play the cards you were dealt.” Katie wouldn’t use those words, but she played her hand graciously.

Not getting to wear a cap and gown didn’t seem to bother her; however, not getting to perform – on stage, with her classmates – was indeed a big disappointment. But when her teacher said she could be the assistant director, K.G. was OK with that. Sitting next to Miss Anna Rosa during rehearsals, Katie would sing all the songs passionately and point out – to the teacher, not to her classmates – when someone made a mistake.

Nahnee and I were blessed to hear those songs more times than I can count as she called every morning and performed via cell phone on her way to school. As we celebrate The Fourth, I can hear her sweet little voice wafting the words across the miles. For the patriotic theme they observed at graduation, the boys and girls sang, “You’re a Grand Ole Flag,” “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” and “God Bless America.”

K.G. knows all the words, and she blasts them out. For graduation, she sat in the back of the room with her daddy, instead of standing on stage with her classmates. She still sang every song with all the crescendos in the right places.

She sang them to me, again, today. As she sang, “…a Yankee Doodle do or die. A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July…”, the thought ran through my brain that if she had been born on July 4th instead of 9/11, she could be enrolled in kindergarten this fall. And she could have graduated from preschool with her class.

But guess what! Everything’s gonna be alright! If a four-and-a-half year old can handle a disappointment like this, surely adults can handle some of the disappointments we are faced with. We still live in the greatest country in the world. We can still sing “God Bless America” with enthusiasm and know in our deepest being that He has, indeed, blessed America. As a people, we are undeserving of His great blessings, but he has preserved this nation for 242 years. Let’s continue to sing His praises and pray that He would make us the kind of people that accept His blessings, however they come.

The Apostle Paul said, “…I have learned to be content, whatever situation I am in.”

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