I knew this day would come — when my great-grandson Jaylen, 10, would no longer need me to walk him to class on the first day of school.
Ever since Jaylen attended nursery school at Memorial Temple Baptist Church, it has been my privilege and pleasure to take him to school on the first day — and every day — of the school year.
I was there when he graduated from nursery school, dressed in his royal blue cap and gown and saying his welcome speech in “baby talk,” and I was there along with his mom when he entered pre-kindergarten at the big school (Barbara Hawkins Elementary) for the first time, trying very hard to be a big boy.
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But Barbara Hawkins was different. Here, he was surrounded by really big children and teachers who no longer cuddled him when he cried. So, it was only natural that he would want me to stay with him the entire day. His wise teacher took him by the hand said gently to me, “He’ll be all right.” I knew he would. Yet, this was another step in the process of his growing up and it was happening so fast.
I have been down this road many times before, with his grandfather (my late son James “Rick”) and his grand-uncle Shawn (my younger son); my granddaughters Nykeva (Jaylen’s mother), LaQuonia, Jamie, and Afra. Over the years, I have sat with grandmotherly pride in the audience at numerous graduations and award day programs. Still I get excited about every one of them.
So, on this special first day of school when Jaylen entered his last year of elementary school (he is in the fifth grade), I was ready to walk him to class as I have done so in years past. (His mom is a teacher at another school and had to be there early to greet her new students.)
Jaylen tried to find the words to let me down easy, when I told him I needed to walk into the school with him so I could meet his new teacher. I studied his face. This was not happening. He struggled to find the right words to let me down easy.
“You can meet my teacher at open house,” he said.
As I drove slowly past the school to the parking lot, I pointed to the parents who were walking their children into the school. “Look at that boy,” I said. “He is about your age and his mom is walking him to class.”
He looked at the boy and said, “That boy is in the third grade. He’s just big for his age.”
I pulled into the parking lot and with one last plea I asked Jaylen to allow me to walk him to class. “No way,” he said, shaking his head and flashing a great big grin.
As he got out the car, I gave him last-minute instructions to be respectful to his teachers and to not talk and play around with his classmates while in class.
As he walked away from the car, I teasingly yelled through the open window, “Please, can I come with you?”
He walked away, still grinning and shaking his head.
And so, another era has ended and a new one has begun. Soon, Jaylen will enter middle school. Just thinking about it boggles my mind. Where did the years go?
Free music workshops
The Miami Oratorio Society will host a free, three-part workshop on learning to sight-read sheet music for choirs, choral groups, praise teams, soloists and individuals who simply want to learn a new skill.
▪ Part I, “Learning,” will be taught from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at North Miami Library, 835 NE 132nd St. Light refreshments will be served.
▪ Part II, “Perfecting,” will be taught from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Parkway Baptist Church, 18000 NW 18th Ave in Miami Gardens.
▪ Part II, “Performing,” will be taught from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, followed by the scheduled rehearsal of the Miami Oratorio Society. Workshops attendees are welcome to sit in.
To register in advance, call Gloria Christian at 954-882-2242 or Judy Feldman at 305-610-0500. More information on the choir can be found at, www.miamioratorio.org
Baha’is of Miami fireside discussion
A fireside discussion hosted by the Baha’is of Miami will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Miami Baha’i Center, 9300 S. Dixie Hwy, Suite 209. Gerald Schwartz will be the speaker and his topic will be “The Year 1844: Why Its Light Still Shines Today.”
“Many historians would agree that we are living in an era which began in the 19th century,” Schwartz said. “That interesting century is unusual because it clearly was moving us in the direction of science and technology, yet at the same time it was also rich in spiritually and socially progressive movements.”
For example, he said, “on May 24 of 1844, Samuel Morse began the era of electronic communication when he sent his now famous message, ‘What hath God wrought,’ on the world’s first telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore.”
That same year, Brigham Young was chosen to be the head of the Mormon Church, following Joseph Smith’s passing on June 27. Then, on Oct. 22, 1844, around 100,000 followers of William Miller were heartbroken when his prediction about the return of Christ did not occur. The event became known as the “Great Disappointment,” Schwartz said.
“We would like to explore that period of time, when so much cultural and spiritual energy was in evidence,” he said. “We believe it is a question worth exploring, as that year also marks the beginning of the Baha’i Faith.”
The event is open to the community. The center will also host a community devotional gathering at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. There is no admission charge or a solicitation of funds.
For more information, call 305-915-7247 or visit to www.MiamiBahai.org.
‘Yoga a la Española’
“Yoga a la Española,” a weekly outdoor yoga class, will be held mid-street on Española Way in Miami Beach from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. The class will be led by a professional instructor from Miami Beach’s oldest yoga studio, Synergy Yoga.
Classes are free for all ages and will be hosted every Saturday on Española Way. If you go, bring your own mat, or you can rent one on site.
For more information, call Rachel at 305-758-1110.
‘A Love Revolution’
At 10 a.m. Sunday, the sermon topic at The Universal Truth Center for Better Living will be, “Let’s Start a Love Revolution.” The lesson is a continuation in the series, “Make a Positive Difference with Boldness.” The Rev. Charles Taylor will preach.
It will also be Friends and Family Sunday at the church and the community is invited to the service.
In addition, the 2017 Adventure in Faith Kick-off will begin. The church is at 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens.
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