I found my first grade student ID card.
When you read that, it sounds like I had been looking for it. Honestly, I am not sure I knew that I had one. Magically, miraculously, this card and several other small items, survived human and natural disasters along with multiple long distance moves by secreting themselves inside the back of a picture frame. What a treat!
It was seeing the dress in this picture that created a flood of memories. My sisters and I all had dresses like this–bright white with wide navy blue stripes. It was one of the few dresses that my Mom did not make herself. On this day, first grade picture day, my dress was about to get its very own unique makeover.
Our class had pictures taken after lunch–unfortunate timing because this day was also spaghetti lunch day! I loved spaghetti lunch day! I had been very careful eating. I did not want to get anything on the front of my dress. I even stopped early because I did not want to increase the odds of any mistakes. The down side to that was the fact I had a lot of left-over spaghetti with sauce on my plate.
It was time to take my tray back. I had to pay attention, so I was concentrating hard, totally focused as I walked slowly across the lunch room to the window where we left our dirty trays.
I was watching the position of my plate on that big tray, patiently waiting in line. It was almost my turn. I was nearly at the window. I did not see the very tall, quick-moving boy in front of me as he turned–bam! I was moving backwards as my tray and plate smashed into the front of my dress.
I was frozen in place.
I began to cry.
One of the ladies from the kitchen saw what had happened and came to my rescue. What a sight I must have been–by then I was sobbing–worried about getting my picture taken and scared that I had ruined my dress. What was my mom going to say?
It will be okay, she said, bending down close and giving my shaking shoulders a quick squeeze. She was there and she would help.
Together we pulled off the drying noodles, wiped, scrubbed, and dabbed away at the mushy, spreading red stain.
The photographer said I was lucky. He could position the picture so most of the stain would not be obvious in the picture. Looks to me like he was able to do that. The interesting thing about finding these treasures of the past is the hindsight they provide. At that time I had no way of knowing what a harbinger of the future this was–that almost every school picture of my life would have a story to tell and an adventure–or misadventure to share.
This was the only one with sauce, though.
Love and peace, Y’all.