TITLE: Lamar’s First Day
By Princess Carroll Ayo Durodola
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School had just started. Two hours in the 1st Grade and Lamar was not happy. He had been to school before. His mom and dad had brought him to see his classroom and teacher several times, but this was different. Mom had never left him. She had explained to him that on the real beginning of school she would leave and go back home and come back and get him. He guessed they should have practiced that exact thing, because he wasn’t good at this part at all!
As soon as Mom said she was going back home and would come back for him after he had finished having lunch with all his new friends, a feeling of fear and dread came over him. He didn’t really know why, but it was as if things would never be the same again. It was an awful feeling and he tried to explain to his mom when she asked “why are you crying Lamar”, but he couldn’t find the words. It was just horrible. Then some of his new friends started crying and he knew they were feeling the dread too. Then the worst that could happen, happened. In spite of his crying and horror, mom let go of him and waved goodbye.
His teacher put her hand on his shoulder, and he yanked himself away from her. Well, she, expert teacher that she was, grabbed him and whisked him around to face the classroom with the other children. He could see she had reinforcements. Five other teachers were in the room, grabbing screaming protestors and the six of them were speaking soothingly to their hostages, as if nothing horrible was happening.
Lamar turned this way and that, looking for mom. He couldn’t see her. Had she really left? His teacher confirmed it. ‘Mommy’s coming back” she said, “you can be a big boy now.” That was Lamar’s dream. To be a “big boy”, like his brother Stevie, who was in 3rd Grade, but now that “big boy” time was here, he didn’t like it.
The more the teacher talked to him the quieter he got. Then she sat down with him on her lap and began to talk to the other children who were sitting quietly. Wow! She could teach and comfort him too. Maybe she’s wonderful like Mom. He should stick with her. He was quiet now and he could see the other kids were quiet too. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad. Now they were finding partners. Lamar felt too upset, so the teacher found a partner for him. Before he knew it a little hand had his and the teacher was standing up tall next to him still talking to all the children. Her hand was right there near him, stretched out for him to reached for at any moment.
Just as he was thinking about doing it, the owner of the little hand that had his, said “Hi, my name is Billy”. Lamar was still too upset to talk, but he listened.
Billy went on “We’re going to have fun today”. Lamar looked back to that reassuring hand hanging down. Should he trust this unwanted partner? How wonderful was he after all? Could he help him? Then Billy said the magic words.
“Don’t cry Lamar, Jesus is taking care of everything.”
Lamar swung back to Billy, “You know about Jesus too?”
“Sure. I gave my life to him in VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL in my church. Did you go?”
“Yes, I went, but I met Jesus before that in Sunday School and gave my life to him.”
“Me too” said Billy.
Lamar forgot about the strong adult he had been depending on and didn’t even see her ease away. He and Billy moved closer together as they talked about fun stories heard in Sunday School and VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL.
“Everyone hold your partners. We’re going for a bathroom break. Let me see you with your partners,” the super teacher said. Billy and Lamar grinned at each other, holding their clasped hands high in the air so she could see they were obeying and ready.
The day didn’t go too badly after that. The teacher did more super things and Lamar stuck with his partner, Billy. Jesus did make everything alright. There was nothing like having a partner in the class, who knew his best friend Jesus.
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