Stephen and Ravena, Alexia’s mother, couldn’t make it to KG3’s graduation and the SOS Kindergarten’s Christmas pageant, so I was Alexia’s "honorary mom" for the day. She’d already started calling me “mommy” so the transition was simple. I even stopped by her classroom early this morning to drop her off before the event and attend a parent-teacher conference.
What was a graduation for five-year-olds could have easily been a college graduation with the twenty-plus long-winded speeches, not to mention four prayers and a lengthy sermon. Each person started their speech by saying they wanted to direct it at the students of KG3 as it was “their day” then rambled on for so long about random things that not only had the kids lost interest but many of the parents had too. I couldn’t even tell you what most of them talked about because frankly I stopped listening about three hours into the ceremony. However, I did catch a few phrases of one woman’s speech in which she used the saying “monkey see, monkey do” and instructed parents to feed their kids “fruits and vegetables with lots of protein”.
The only time I really paid attention was during the sermon because he offered a refreshing perspective about success which completely contradicted the one I’d heard at GGV church about success being measured in wealth.
“Success is not the occupation of a position and it is not accumulating wealth…a millionaire in America, Rockefeller, said that ‘the poorest man is the one who only has money’”. He went on to quote someone else and said, “rich people seldom smile. Teach your children that it is not only money that life is about.”
Then he went off on a tangent about rich people committing suicide referencing to such people as Michael Jackson who “had all that money…he died because he had money but he didn’t know how to manage money. He spent all this money on plastic surgery and first his nose looked this way” he said, pointing to the right, then to the left, “then this way, and then down”. The audience was attentive at this point and had starting laughing. I’d love to plan a debate between him and the pastor at GGV.
“There are two important days in someone’s life, the day you’re born is one. The second is not the day of your marriage, it is the day you discover why you were born…Is anybody celebrating you because you are alive? Is anybody happy because you help them? That is success…It is not only getting a college degree. It is not only getting a big job.”
And five hours after I’d first sat down in the hot afternoon sun, we were free to go. The thirty or forty minutes that the adorable kids spent in front of the audience made up for the rest of it, well most of it. I’m really going to miss those kids!
As we were leaving, a song came on that I liked and I asked the DJ what it was. It's called "Furi Furi Dance" by Jimmie Gait.